Eduardo Vieira forges ahead after bankruptcy
By Chris Dove, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain
23 July, 2012
Just a day after announcing the start of bankruptcy proceedings, Galicia’s Grupo S.A. Eduardo Vieira — one of Spain’s largest fishing and seafood companies — has decided to revive the business with Group President Eduardo Vieira proclaiming: “We are working normally. We will take the company forward.”
Last week, payments were suspended by its brand Vieirasa and its frozen seafood processor Vigoca.
Established in Vigo in 1880, the group’s operations in Spanish waters expanded into Grand Sole and Newfoundland fishing grounds, while the introduction of onboard freezing a century later enabled them to fish in waters further afield. In Namibia, the company’s main catches are Cape hake and monkfish. Under brand names Vieirasa and Rico Mar, the company also operates in Argentina, Senegal and Peru.
Though continuing day-to-day management, the group’s affairs will be supervised by legal entity Magdaleno-Ramos & Associates, who will make a list of the group’s creditors and quantify its level of debt. Industry sources estimate the group’s liability currently exceeds EUR 5 million (USD 6.03 million), while other sources claim the extensive list of creditors will exceed this amount.
On paper, the group’s results appear positive. However, lack of liquidity has stifled daily operations with assets heavily invested in Galicia and overseas, leading to an inability to raise credit under the financial crisis.
For two months, some of the group’s staff have had to forego salary payments — affecting 100 employees — while others have received irregular payments. “Money coming in is going to the workers,” assured Luciano Villar, Secretary General of trade union FGAMT-CIG Vigo.
To partly resolve their liquidity problems, company President Vieira aims to dispose of assets abroad, “for example in Namibia or by an economic injection,” explained Villar.
The union has not ruled out a possible realignment of company staff. “The company will make a viability plan, which they have not yet submitted to us, they believe they have a future,” he continued.
Commenting on the bankruptcy, Juan Manuel Vieites, secretary general of the Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Seafood, said, “Although this was already an open secret, it is bad news to come to a flagship Vigo company.”
23 July, 2012