SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian unit of struggling Spanish energy and infrastructure group Abengoa SA obtained approval from creditors on Friday for its in-court debt restructuring plan, said a lawyer representing one of the creditors.
Abengoa has around 3.4 billion reais ($1.08 billion) in debt with suppliers and banks in Brazil and has filed for court protection against creditors last year, after stopping several projects for lack of funding.
Luciana Nogueira, a lawyer with Sao Paulo-based law firm TozziniFreire Advogados, which represents one of those suppliers, said a key factor behind the approval of the plan was a binding proposal from Texas Pacific Group (TPG) to buy Abengoa’s power transmission lines in Brazil for 400 million reais in cash.
“That proposal would guarantee creditors will receive something back this year,” she said.
The TPG offer would be a starting price for the assets in a judicial auction to be organized in coming weeks. The final price for the lines could go up if more companies decide to bid in the auction.
TPG did not immediately return a request for comment.
Abengoa’s plan presented to creditors during an assembly in Rio included other actions to raise cash and pay back debt.
The company said it would receive a credit of 76 million reais from its local construction arm, Abengoa Construção. It also said it would sell a stake it owns in a hospital in the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas, for which it expects to fetch 143 million reais.
Abengoa also plans to sell licenses it currently holds to build and operate power transmission lines in Brazil, but this sale depends on litigation with the country’s power regulator, Aneel. The watchdog is trying to cancel those licenses due to delays in the construction.
Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Lisa Shumaker