The Government approves the rescue of 550 million to Celsa, but now the funds demand 75% of the company

Antonio Ramirez CerezoCONTINUEMadrid Updated: 06/17/2022 18:34h
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Celsa already has the green light for the arrival of the 550 million that the steel giant had requested
to the rescue fund for strategic companies managed by SEPI
. An approval that comes despite the fact that there is still no agreement between the Catalan company and its creditors, among which are the investment banks Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, and the SVP and Cross Ocean funds. A 'sine qua non' condition Celsa will not be able to receive the greatest state support in the Covid framework signed to date.

But SEPI has already received the consent of the holders of Celsa's debt on the terms of its restructuring, as sources from the public holding company assure this newspaper.

The fund for strategic companies will give definitive closure on June 30 and state support for the Rubiralta family firm has entered a race against the clock. What would have pushed both Celsa and its creditors to accept the offer of the Solvency Support Fund for Strategic Companies (Fasee) while waiting to close the negotiations between both parties. As this newspaper already anticipated, the support for the steel company will be the first within the framework of Covid-19 to go through the European Commission, as it is state aid whose participatory loan exceeds 250 million euros (specifically 280.5 million euros). together with another ordinary of 269.6). Only with the support of Brussels can the file reach the Council of Ministers, and the last one before the expiration of the fund is scheduled to be held on June 28, in just over ten days.

In any case, sources close to the negotiations assure that the aid will never arrive if there is no agreement between the company and the funds that dominate its debt. Something that will not be easy to unblock. In fact, these same sources are surprised by the turn of the screw that the talks have given. Because while initially, the creditors' offer was to keep 49% of the company by transforming the 2,400 million they have from debt into capital, now this percentage has grown to 75%. These informants do not understand the change, "when they have accepted the SEPI conditions, which means admitting that it is a strategic company for Spain" and that "the company has the capacity to repay its debt."

manifestations

Celsa's latest offer to the funds added an additional 400 million to the ransom money. An amount that would arrive once the 550 million were returned to the State, in a maximum of seven years. But nothing could be further from the truth, the proposal has failed to take hold among creditors despite the wave of pressure they have received. Hundreds of Celsa workers demonstrated last week in various parts of Spain in front of different headquarters of Deutsche Bank, which they point to as the main holder of the company's debt. Even the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, came this week to telephone the president of the German bank Christian Sewing to give an exit to the operation.

The German bank, however, defends itself by assuring that they "are one of the many creditors that have supported Celsa for several years" and that in no case do they own the majority of the company's debt. In statements to this newspaper they affirm that "they fully support the efforts to find a solution to Celsa's debt problem" and that it can receive the 550 million from SEPI.

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