Pescarmona Said to Pursue Argentina Bailout for Impsa

Enrique Pescarmona, owner of Argentina’s biggest renewable energy company, is seeking a government bailout as overdue payments from the group’s biggest client in Venezuela leave it short of cash for looming bond payments, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.

Pescarmona, who owns turbine maker Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona SA through Luxembourg-based Venti SA, met yesterday with Argentine authorities to discuss possible government assistance, the people said, asking not to be identified because an agreement may not be reached. He met with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner three weeks ago, they said.

Ismael Jadur, a spokesman for Pescarmona, didn’t respond to requests for comment made by e-mail, text message and telephone. Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and Industry Secretary Debora Giorgi held meetings with Pescarmona, Buenos Aires-based daily Cronista reported today. Jesica Rey, Kicillof’s spokeswoman, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Pescarmona is struggling to get Venezuela’s state-run power company to pay its bills as the group faces a $20 million interest payment at the end of the month on $390 million of dollar bonds backed by his holding company Venti. Those notes have lost more than two-thirds of their value in the past three months. Mendoza-based unit Impsa also faces a Sept. 18 payment on 96.5 million pesos ($11.5 million) of local securities. Venezuela’s Corpoelec SA owes Venti about $500 million.

One proposal being put forward by Impsa adviser Quantum Finanzas is for the government to take a non-controlling stake, one of the people said. Quantum’s Daniel Marx didn’t answer telephone calls.

Impsa was late servicing its peso denominated bonds in July and was downgraded by Fitch to CCC from B+. It reported a 62.2 million-peso net loss for the second quarter, compared with a loss of 317 million pesos in the same year-ago period. In the earnings statement, Impsa said Corpoelec, which represents 76 percent of its receivables, is expected to pay in full, allowing the company to continue operating.

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