Creditors give Spain’s Abengoa 7-mth grace


MADRID: One of the world’s biggest renewable energy firms, Spain’s Abengoa, said on Monday it had been given a seven-month breathing space by its creditors for restructuring that should stave off the threat of immediate bankruptcy.

The company ended 2015 with a debt of 9.4 billion euros ($10.5 billion).

It announced in November that it was filing for preliminary protection from creditors and had been given a March 28 deadline to strike a deal with at least 60 percent of its debt-holders.

Under the deal announced Monday, 75.04 percent of creditors agreed to the grace period.

A family owned company founded 75 years ago, Abengoa rose from being a local electrical firm, fixing installations damaged in Spain’s 1936-39 civil war, to a major player in solar energy and other renewables.

But risky bets on biofuels, Spain’s cuts to renewable energy subsidies during an economic downturn and the Benjuema family’s refusal to raise capital out of fear of losing control of the company pushed it to the edge of bankruptcy.

The company’s head, Felipe Benjumea, stepped down last September. He is under investigation for serious mismanagement and under fire for taking a compensation package of 11 million euros.



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