Regulators fine Pescanova, de Souza

By

Pilar Caride, SeafoodSourcecontributing editor, reporting from Vigo, Spain

Published on
April 3, 2014
Spain's National Stock Market Commission (CNMV) has sanctioned and fined embattled Spanish seafood giant Pescanova and its former president, Manuel Fernandez de Sousa, for lying to the company's shareholders.

The fines are the latest development in the ongoing civil and criminal legal proceedings against Pescanova. The company has been embroiled in troubles for more than a year after declining to present to Spanish regulators its annual accounts. Subsequent investigations revealed discrepancies between the company's accounting and its debts, which led to the company filing for bankruptcy and replacement of de Souza and its board of directors.

Now, The Official State Bulletin published a resolution of the Spanish regulator which sanctions Pescanova with a fine of EUR 100,000 (USD 137,883), for a "very serious infraction." Last year, Pescanova sent "inaccurate, not verifiable and misleading information," to the CNMV and the market according to the resolution. Regulators also sanctioned de Sousa for the same infraction, with a fine of EUR 200,000 (USD 275,766).

Spanish media published that the main creditor bank does not approve of the offer of creditors' agreement that Pescanova submitted two weeks ago. According to the news agency Europa Press, the creditor bank has already presented its own offer to Deloitte, Pescanova's trustee in bankruptcy, with the idea of acquiring Pescanova in the liquidation phase.

According to the same sources, the offer of the creditor bank includes a capital injection of EUR 115 million (USD 158 million) and the capitalization of EUR 2 billion (USD 2.76 billion), which represents a reduction of the debt lower than the 70 percent.

Moreover, the offer also envisions the restructuring of Spanish subsidiaries' liabilities with the aim of avoiding bankruptcy proceedings.

Pescanova's Board of directors defended their creditors' agreement. Last week, they told the media the offer submitted before the Judge "is the best survival option for Pescanova, and in addition is the only one submitted." They also "call for the creditors and shareholders of the company to support the offer."

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