Scare or death in Duro Felguera

"Has entered a state of coma: no one sell or purchase a single title”. The phrase is from a forum of Bag and makes reference to the price of Duro Felguera this

Scare or death in Duro Felguera

"Has entered a state of coma: no one sell or purchase a single title”. The phrase is from a forum of Bag and makes reference to the price of Duro Felguera this week. The compañía asturiana engineering specializing in energy facilities is in a dramatic situation, one of many that accumulated since its foundation in 1858. Although this moment seems particularly delicate. Sources of the multinational company move to a “feeling of helplessness”, after a year of efforts on sanitation and after the output to the end of 2017 of Gonzalo Álvarez Arrojo, then the major shareholder, forced to leave the bench because of a disastrous management.

The company argues that it has a healthy balance sheet with a solid cash position after more than a year of change began to reshape the committee of direction, new strategic plan and a review of all the contracts in place. A transformation that was made possible by the restructuring prior debt, which meant an important boost from the bench: 90 million of the inherited liabilities of that stage is transformed in convertible bonds to future in 6% of the capital (today, that percentage of the company has a theoretical value in the market of only 18 million) and other 140 million in debt non-interest-bearing (it is practically a remove, because only that could be transformed into capital if the value of the company exceeds 200 million, among other conditions).

all in all, there are 85 million of bank debt which weigh like a ton of stones in the stomach of the company, which until September had a turnover of 317 million, slightly above last year. In this first part of the year, its operating result was positive at € 11 million compared to losses of 56 million recognized 12 months ago by the write-downs made. A good data accompanied by several bad news: this year, four independent directors were frightened because they thought that the contest of creditors is the only possible exit for Duro Felguera. The company does not get endorsements from just two exercises, and the need to finance new projects. In fact, it has lost a couple of major contests because the banking industry (the union of entities creditor is formed by Santander, Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank, Banco Cooperativo, BBVA, Liberbank) is reluctant to continue to support the company. So that the horizon is complicated despite its long history, an important reputation, a large portfolio of suppliers and 1,400 jobs. And the same thing happens with the investors ' money, which in the last capital increase injected 125 million euros.

Many are of withdrawal, as The Muza Investments, the sicav of the family Urquijo, which had 5% and now is at 2.5%. Managers are important as Azvalor or Cobas have been removed to Duro Felguera's radar, although other investors are kept, such as Apparel Pueri, of the family that owns the group Mayoral, who according to the securities and exchange commission has not been moved from its 9.5 per cent, along with other minor partners, such as engineering TSK entrepreneur Sabino Garcia, Workshops Joy or the group qatar Acec. Next to them, calculated by sources close to the company, there are about 17,000 retailers that “they cannot be asking for more efforts.”

The directorate, headed by José María Orihuela, is looking for a way to monetize real estate assets by selling its offices in Madrid and Asturias, and with other on rent. Has achieved several victories in international arbitrations arising from disputes in several contracts, such as the 102 million that they paid Samsung for a project in Australia or the agreement with the company Fluxys by a dispute on a project in Belgium. Its subsidiary Felguera Cranes India had activated 11 arbitrations, and has reached agreement on eight of them, and the same has happened with other lawsuits in various countries. The slogan is " looking for money to strengthen the box and get to finance new operations. But time is running out and it seems that no investor is interested in rescuing the group, —it is speculated with the interest of the businessman Blas Herrero, the owner of Kiss FM, but has not given any solid step—.

At this point it is worth asking who wins with this situation. “It is absurd, they are pushing to see how far it withstands the company without collateral or if it comes a white knight as salvation. All contracts have clauses of insolvency that could run the guarantees already granted in the event of a crisis. And if that happens the company goes away”, quoted in the company's environment. “If they have done their homework to 100%. Why not give the guarantees? The projects are being completed”, insist those sources. But the opinion of the banking is quite different: there are entities that are willing to continue to bet and open the possibility of converting the current debt in any instrument that does not weigh on the balance sheet of Duro Felguera or negotiate new guarantees thanks to the counter-guarantees offered by Cesce. But other entities are closed in band and they have their reasons to be wary: “we're Not going to give more guarantees”, citing sources close to a bank creditor. “We conducted a capital increase of less than a year ago and that money has vanished. We support projects healthy, that is our mission”, they say in another entity. “It is a bottomless pit”, pointing in a third. So, time is running out for the asturian.

Hundred jobs at risk

Duro Felguera has in mind to do layoffs if things continue as they are. It would be, according to some sources, a reduction of up to 100 jobs, focused in its industrial division, which employs about 800 people. This measure, which the company will consider during the next month of January, arises as a consequence of the lack of support and banking with the objective of adjusting its dimension to the current billing. By the time the trade unions have not received any communication. Genaro Martinez, secretary of the federation of Construction of UGT in Asturias, recognize that they are in a complex situation and that Duro Felguera needs to “financial stability”. In case outside little, the company has opened a conflict with the tax office for deductions in the tax of societies that add up to 130 million.

Date Of Update: 26 December 2019, 07:20