Shareholders of Redondela, Pontevedra, Spain-based Nueva Pescanova have approved a debt-to-equity swap of more than EUR 542 million (USD 446.8 million), which will eliminate the majority of the company’s debt.
A Coruña, Spain-based Abanca, which acquired a majority stake in Nueva Pescanova in March 2020, led the charge, swapping the full amount of the insolvency debt it held, which was a holdover from a messy bankruptcy procedure, allegations of financial mismanagement, and a drawn-out fight with the major shareholders of its previous corporate entity, dubbed Old Pescanova.
“After this milestone, the company leaves behind a difficult six-year period, since its incorporation in 2015, when Pescanova S.A. (the old Pescanova) entered an insolvency procedure due to the management of its former executive team,” the company said in a press release. “Nueva Pescanova SL was born then, with new owners and a new management, that designed an ambitious strategic plan, changed its governance in line with best practices, approved a code of ethics and made great transformations, to become consumer-centric, and taking advantage of its distinct value: an integrated value chain, from origin to the end-consumer.”
Founded in 1960, Nueva Pescanova Group is engaged in fishing, farming, processing, and trading of seafood products in fresh, chilled, and frozen formats. It currently has operations in 20 countries on four continents, and its products are sold in more than 80 nations. The company has 10,000 employees.
Following its swap, Abanca now controls 97 percent of Nueva Pescanova, according to the release.
The shareholders’ vote, which was required by a court decision in an appeal brought by a group of Nueva Pescanova’s creditors, took place Tuesday, 23 February. Debt-holders who wish to retain their shareholding now have 30 days to take part in a capital increase against cash contributions of up to EUR 50 million (USD 41.2 million).
“This is the starting point for the overcoming of the bad financial position that Nueva Pescanova SL has had since its incorporation in 2015, heavy laden by an insolvency debt inherited from the former Pescanova that, despite of its decrease, still amounted to more than EUR 600 million [USD 727 million].” Nueva Pescanova Chairman José María Benavent said in a press release. “Today is the rebirth of the Nueva Pescanova Group, a healthy company with a sound equity position, and capable to grow its business, without the ballast of the former debt. Now we can focus on the execution of the business plan until 2024 to create value and grow in a sustainable manner.”
Photo courtesy of Nueva Pescanova