Houlihan Lokey, PJT Said to Plan Pitches to Abengoa Creditors

  • Advisers to present proposals on Monday to bondholders
  • Abengoa asked bondholders to form committee on Thursday

Houlihan Lokey Inc. and PJT Partners Inc. are planning to present competing proposals to Abengoa SA bondholders on Monday to try to win advisory mandates, according to people familiar with the matter.

The financial advisers are seeking to guide creditors through restructuring negotiations in what could become Spain’s biggest corporate failure, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to talk about it. Abengoa, which has filed for preliminary protection from creditors, asked bondholders on Thursday to form a committee so debt talks can begin.

Abengoa has four months to reach a restructuring agreement with lenders under Spanish bankruptcy laws. If it fails, the company will need to file for full-blown creditor protection. More than 90 percent of cases that reach that stage in Spain end in liquidation, according to rating company Axesor.

“Negotiations will be highly challenging, given the substantially different classes of creditors involved and the high amount of different bondholders,” according to a report published by Lucror Analytics on Friday. “Once a committee is formed, bondholders could aim to move the proceedings to a U.S. or U.K. court, given the unfavorable Spanish bankruptcy framework.”

HSBC, Santander

Bank lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc and Banco Santander SA will work with financial adviser KPMG and are considering law firms Uria Menendez and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, according to people familiar with the matter. Abengoa has total bank facilities of about 20 billion euros ($21 billion) including working capital, project-finance debt and loans, a document compiled by one of the creditors and seen by Bloomberg shows.

The renewable-energy company is working with financial advisers Lazard Ltd. and law firms Linklaters and DLA Piper, people familiar with the matter said. Linklaters said partner Federico Briano is leading a team advising Abengoa.

Officials at Abengoa, PJT, DLA Piper, Lazard, Freshfields, HSBC and Santander declined to comment on advisers or the debt talks. Officials at Houlihan Lokey, KPMG and Uria Menendez weren’t immediately available to comment.

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