Another step in the series on the future of the Catalan steel company Celsa. The creditor funds have delivered to the commercial court number two of Barcelona – where the process of restructuring the debt of the company based in Castellbisbal is being processed – the “application for the approval plan” designed by them. Although the content of it is unknown, sources consulted maintain that it is essentially the same that was already put on the table in September and that it contemplated taking over 100% of the shares to recover the debt contracted with them.
The request for approval is a procedure that includes the new bankruptcy law that creditors are using –among which are Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, SVP and Cross Ocean– to elucidate the conflict between the parties. From now on, the parties may present their arguments to the court.
Sources familiar with the negotiations between the company and the creditors explained that –despite the decision made by the funds– the company maintains its predisposition to negotiate and reach an agreed agreement. A few months ago, the company chaired by Francesc Rubiralta opened up to the funds taking part of the capital to unblock the negotiation on the maintenance of its debt. The agreement between the parties is also essential to unblock the arrival of 550 million euros from SEPI. That aid approved in June of last year was part of the covid aid plan. The debts are the legacy of an important investment process with improvements in the group’s ovens and purchases in some European countries in the 2000s.
Last March, the mediator appointed by the court, Lexaudit, valued the company at 2,800 million, according to creditors. On the other hand, Celsa assured that it had group valuations of more than 6,000 million. According to the creditors, the debt that the company has contracted with them is around 3,500 million. For this reason, the funds considered in March that “since the value does not even cover the company’s debt, Celsa’s shares are worthless.”
The company closed the 2022 financial year with a turnover of 6,084 million euros, 15.2% more. The gross result reached 867 million. The figures exceed the historical record achieved in 2021.
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