Trial for Celsa control begins in Spain

The Celsa ownership saga has entered its final phase. The restructuring plan for the Spanish steelmaking group’s debt of €2.8 billion ($3.05 billion) presented by some creditors was submitted to court in Barcelona on Monday, Kallanish notes. The hearings will last until next Tuesday.

During the first day of the trial, the creditors, who represent 90% of the jumbo debt and 89% of the convertible debt, contended that their restructuring plan is based on creating an independent board of directors and a new financial scheme. This includes investment funds taking over 100% ownership of the Rubiralta family-owned steelmaker due to the progressive loss of confidence in the current shareholders.

“Our plan provides a comprehensive solution to Celsa’s financial situation, reducing its indebtedness by €1.29 billion [$1.4 billion] through the capitalisation of the convertible debt and part of the jumbo debt,” Álvaro Fabián, representative of Celsa creditor SVP Global, explained to the judge. The proposal also foresees a five-year extension of the maturity date for the remainder of the liabilities, as well as maintaining Celsa’s operations centres in Spain and employment across the entire group.

Celsa, meanwhile, maintains that the creditors do not ensure the viability of the company. “The business project of the creditors would not ensure the continuity of Celsa, and the restructuring would plunge the company into uncertainty that can lead to disaster since the intention of the funds is to sell some assets when they can,” said Celsa vice president Francesc Mesegué. “Their proposal goes against the vision of the current Celsa Board, which is managing a ten-year transformation plan.”

Celsa is the largest private industrial group in Spain, with its main steelmaking activities near Barcelona and in the north of the country. Outside Spain, the group produces steel in France, the UK, Norway and Poland.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria