Deutsche Bank and funds take the reins of Celsa, the Catalan steelmaker, and secure activity


Creditor funds can now take control of Celsa. The ruling issued on Monday by Barcelona Commercial Court No. 2 puts an end to the dispute between the Rubiralta family, the founders and until now owners of the steelmaker, and the corporations holding 90% of its bulky debt. The magistrate has endorsed the plans of the syndicate of creditors, who will capitalise €1,352 million of convertible debt and part of the jumbo debt and become the new owners of the Catalan metal giant, while extending the maturity of the remaining debt.

However, a new page in the company’s history now opens, with a process that will be neither short nor simple, especially if the government decides to activate the well-known anti-takeover shield. For now, the judge has ordered Lexaudit, the expert acting as mediator in the case, to start all the procedures to carry out the transfer of ownership.

For their part, Deutsche Bank, Sculptor Investments, Cross Ocean and the other international funds involved are analysing the entry of a partner, while maintaining that the changes in the company’s structure will not affect the day-to-day running of the more than 100 work centres that the company has around the world.

“According to the plan, the banks holding the working capital debt will support the financing of the working capital and the day-to-day running of the company,” they add, while recalling that their roadmap is a “private solution” that does not require the €550 million from the SEPI bailout approved more than a year ago.

In fact, during the trial hearings held in early July, the creditors’ representatives reiterated that this whole process is a “financial restructuring”, so they do not foresee “plant closures or relocations”.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.