Pescanova Wins Deadline Extension for Vote on Debt Proposals

Pescanova SA has won more time to persuade lenders to back the Spanish fishing company’s restructuring plans after a bankruptcy court extended a deadline for a creditor vote.

A judge gave the company until April 30 to get backing for proposals from shareholders Damm SA, the Spanish brewer, and Luxempart SA, a regulatory filing shows. Pescanova requested a postponement of the original April 15 deadline, citing delays in producing an English language version of the debt plans, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The operator of fish farms and processing plants from Spain to Chile, as well as more than 90 ships, needs to win agreement from more than 50 percent of creditors to avoid entering a liquidation process. Some of Pescanova’s creditor banks don’t back the restructuring plan from shareholders and instead they presented an alternative offer this month, which would give them control of the company if it enters liquidation.

Last week representatives of Pescanova and Damm held talks with lenders Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Banco Popular Espanol SA, Banco Sabadell SA, CaixaBank SA, NCG Banco SA and Unione di Banche Italiane SCPA. The talks ended without agreement, said two other people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it.

Better Terms

“The company needs to come up with better terms for its creditors,” said Marco Elser, a Rome-based distressed-debt analyst at investment bank Advicorp Plc. “The next two weeks are going to be key.”

The lenders want to retain 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) of debt in the restructured company, rather than the 700 million euros proposed by shareholders. Under the banks’ proposal they would inject 115 million euros into the company and guarantee 1 billion euros of debt.

Pontevedra, Galicia-based Pescanova had 3.25 billion euros of net debt at the end of 2012, according to a Dec. 10 statement from court-appointed administrator Deloitte LLP.

The company’s 160 million euros of 8.75 percent notes due 2019 were quoted at 8.1 cents on the euro today, Bloomberg bond prices show. The notes traded at 16 cents on March 6.

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