The SEPI rejects the rescue of Abengoa, on the verge of a historic bankruptcy

Tower in an Abengoa facility. / Reuters

The council of ministers does approve the rescue of Celsa and five other companies for a total amount of 721 million euros

Clara Dawn

More than seven years. It is the time that Abengoa has been dragging an extremely delicate financial situation that now threatens to star in the largest bankruptcy in Spain, for a company that accumulates some 6,000 million euros in debt... and more than 5,000 employees.

The council of ministers has refused to include the company in the group of new 'rescued' with the Solvency Support Fund for Strategic Companies of the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI). Celsa, Blue Sea and Meeting Point, in addition to Imasa, Isastur and Vivanta. In total, 721 million euros, of which the largest part - some 550 million euros - corresponds to the rescue of Celsa, once it has received the go-ahead from Brussels.

At the moment, not one euro for Abengoa. The government spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, clarified after the council of ministers that this pending rescue has not been technically rejected. But it has not been approved either. And there are no more tips left before June 30, when the fund intended to save companies affected by the impact of the pandemic expires. So the decision would be made: Abengoa does not meet the conditions to be rescued.

The aid requested by the company amounted to 249 million euros. A public contribution that was vital to avoid bankruptcy, since it was in turn the guarantee for the Terramar fund to inject another 200 million into Abenewco 1, the subsidiary that groups the most important assets of the company.

The arguments presented by Abengoa in the face of SEPI's rejection do not seem to have had any effect. The Government spokeswoman stressed that the applications charged to the solvency fund "are governed by technical and objective criteria." And from the Ministry of Finance they indicate that the approval of these 'bailouts' is based on "an exhaustive and rigorous process of analysis of the economic and legal situation, the impact they have suffered from Covid-19, the viability plan that presented by each of the entities, as well as the prospects for the evolution of the group and the guarantees provided to ensure the return of the temporary public financial support that it will receive. Criteria that Abengoa would not meet.

If there is finally no rescue before June 30, as everything seems to indicate, Abenweco1 will declare insolvency proceedings in July, when the current moratorium expires and, also, the Terramar offer. The parent company Abengoa has been in bankruptcy since February 2021 and in a few days it must present its agreement and agree on it with the creditors. If not, the company would go directly into liquidation.

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