Debt Wave Crashes on Abengoa Water

30 Dec 2015
Available with corporate subscription

On 25 November 2015, Seville-based Abengoa S.A., the parent company of Abengoa Water and Abiensa, filed for creditor protection in Madrid, a precursor to bankruptcy proceedings. Spanish industrial player Gonvarri Steel Services’ (Gestamp) offer to acquire 28% of the firm for €350 million (US$377 million) fell through the prior week. This, combined with weak Q1-Q3 results, sparked a downward spiral in share price from €0.91 to €0.25 in a matter of hours.

Abengoa began to confront its financial difficulties head-on in August 2015, when it announced a €650 million capital increase and initiated its search for a strategic investor.

Abengoa has a global footprint across water, renewables, cogeneration, and ethanol (bioenergy) sectors. Its engineering & construction (E&C) business, Abiensa, represented 63% of the parent company’s €7.1 billion revenues in 2014, while the water concession business unit, Abengoa Water, accounted for less than 1%, or €41 million, of total revenues.

Bluefield Takeaways

  • Financial crisis moves concession business into spotlight
  • Abengoa Water assets unlikely to escape sell-off
  • Queue expected to form for portfolio additions, market entry foothold