The Central Government and the Andalusian Regional Government agreed on Monday to “delimit” the network of around 300 subsidiaries of multinational Abengoa that could be saved. This will necessarily require them to have business activity and a workload. In any case, the operation will require the backing of Brussels, according to both administrations. Their work begins this Tuesday with a technical working group to analyse the viability plan presented by the multinational to save itself from bankruptcy.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, confirmed on Monday the “firm commitment” of the central and regional administrations to “save Abengoa, appealing to the need to define “what we want to save” within the multinational: “Clearly, the business of the companies which have a workload” within the complex conglomerate that makes up Abengoa. With 11,000 workers worldwide – 2,500 in Andalusia – the firm has over 6 billion euros in debt.
Abengoa has found a way forward after SEPI last week definitively refused to grant a 249 million euros rescue for Abenewco 1, the subsidiary where the company maintains its most valuable assets and main lines of business, considering that its viability had not been demonstrated.
SEPI’s decision meant that the main option for maintaining the company’s viability disappeared, as this rescue was a condition for US fund Terramar to inject 200 million euros in exchange for 70% of the capital. This move was understood to be the best opportunity to refloat the multinational.
Now, the company, workers, government and the Andalusian regional government have agreed to create a “technical” working group from Tuesday, “aware that there is little time” to “refloat” Abengoa from the “delicate” situation in which it finds itself. The decision adopted is to make “adjustments” to the viability plan presented by the company and rejected by SEPI last week in order to “limit the perimeter” of those companies in the business network that can be “saved” by means of public and private instruments, in the words of Maroto, who pointed out that the viability plan will have to determine “what we want to save from Abengoa. Clearly, the business of those that have a workload”. On this point, she referred to the 27 subsidiaries that are in pre-bankruptcy proceedings and which are the “heart” of the company. “They are the ones to which we must provide solutions”, Maroto said, insisting that “we must be pragmatic” because there is “little time”. “There is no time to lose, this is clear to us”, the minister flagged.