Atunlo enters bankruptcy proceedings, WOFCO nearing completion of Fandicosta acquisition

WOFCO's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global.
WOFCO's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global | Photo courtesy of WOFCO
4 Min

Vigo, Spain-based tuna specialist Atunlo has entered bankruptcy proceedings after it was unable to restructure its debt following its pre-bankruptcy filing in November 2023.

While its deadline for raising funds via its pre-bankruptcy filing isn’t until 20 May, the company opted to file for bankruptcy amid tensions between its ownership groups – Internacional de Pesca y Derivados (Inpesca) and Comercial Pernas (Coper), which each own 40 percent of the firm, and Marpesca, which owns the remaining 20 percent.

According to La Voz de Galicia, Atunlo is straddled with more than EUR 160 million (USD 173 million) in debt, and infighting has occurred between Inpesca, Coper, and Marpesca. Atunlo is operating under a restructuring plan introduced on 29 April and has reduced, but not ceased, activity as it has faced a reduction in raw material supply from Inpesca, according to Europa Press. The company has closed its Santoña and O Grove facilities but is still operating its Cambados facility.

Similarly to Atunlo, Domaio, Pontevedra, Spain-based seafood firm Fandicosta made a pre-bankruptcy filing in October 2023 as the company copes with higher interest rates, a sour European economy, and rising costs. Worldwide Fishing Company (WOFCO) has offered EUR 20 million (USD 21.6 million) for Fandicosta, as well as the assumption of some of its debt, though the sale process is not finalized and nearly fell through in January. According to Atlantico, the banks that currently own the company have agreed to take a loss on the sale.

Fandicosta’s assets include a processing facility in Moaña and two in Vigo, and WOFCO has pledged to retain 75 percent of Fandicosta’s workforce. The sale process is close to finalized, Faro de Vigo reported on 10 May.

A Coruña, Spain-headquartered Actemsa also filed a pre-bankruptcy notice in October 2023. The tuna firm owes EUR 114 million (USD 120.5 million) to creditors, including EUR 44.1 million (USD 46.6 million) in short-term obligations. It is in the midst of a EUR 10 million (USD 10.5 million) investment program that includes an update of its freezing and bagging operations. The company faced a deadline of submitting a restructuring plan by 9 April, according to Faro de Vigo.

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