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Chile: Pescanova, the second largest fish processing company in Europe is preparing the sale of its Chilean subsidiary Acuinova and renegotiating its debt. Last Tuesday, the share price of Pescanova plummeted 60 percent.
The Spanish fishing giant Pescanova would be on the verge of bankruptcy while looking to sell part of its assets in Chile, assets that correspond to the salmon producing company Acuinova. There is another subsidiary of Pescanova in the country, the fishing company Pesca Chile.
Last week, Pescanova requested to the Spanish stock market regulators to suspend any transaction of its shares, after announcing that the company would not submit its results for the fourth quarter of 2012. The company explained the failure saying that it was negotiating the sale of it Chilean salmon division, Acuinova.
Last Tuesday, shares of Pescanova dropped by 60% in the Spanish stock market, even though those transactions were suspended for almost the entire session. Until last week, these shares had an accumulate increase of 24 percent this year.
The Spanish newspaper El País reported that the fishing company had a debt of € 1,522 million by the end of September 2012.
According to Bloomberg, the announcement of Pescanova is a total surprise. "It was totally unexpected," commented the BPI bank analyst Joao Safara. Pescanova made a capital increase and a bond issue last year at an interest rate of over 8% but the company was not even close to insolvency. "Like other Spanish companies, Pescanova had debt problems, but it was still perceived as a solid company. I should have been able to avoid such a situation," Safara added.
There have been some rumors during months claiming that the Spanish company wanted to sell just after the IPO plans started failing in Chile. Last June, Acuinova filed its intention to open 49% of the company in the Chilean stock market and according to Spanish media, Pescanova expected to raise € 46 million in the operation.
According to the Chilean Customs Service, Acuinova recorded sales of US$ 90.1 million in 2012 while Pesca Chile registered sales of US$ 19.1 million.
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