Abengoa Bondholders Said to Ask Banks to Release Shares for Loan

Abengoa SA bondholders said they’re prepared to lend more money to the Spanish renewable-energy company if they can have collateral backing existing bank loans, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The investors are considering lending about 160 million euros ($174 million) to Seville-based Abengoa so it can pay suppliers and bills, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. They’ll do it if the debt is backed by some shares in Abengoa Yield Plc, a company formed by Abengoa to own and operate power plants, which are currently held by the banks.

Abengoa, which has 8.9 billion euros of gross borrowings, is trying to negotiate a debt restructuring after filing for preliminary creditor protection in November. The company doesn’t have enough cash to meet its obligations, and has used most of its stake in Abengoa Yield to guarantee its borrowing.

“The Abengoa Yield shares were always a valuable asset for Abengoa, against which it was likely banks would be prepared to lend,” CreditSights analyst Andrew Moulder wrote in a note to clients earlier this month. “With most of the shares already pledged, it seems to us that, except for very small amounts, this avenue is now closed to Abengoa.”

Officials at Abengoa didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the restructuring negotiations.

The company last month received a 106 million-euro credit line from banks including Banco Santander SA and HSBC Holdings Plc to help meet its obligations for 2015. At the time Abengoa pledged shares in Abengoa Yield to back that loan, along with additional shares to guarantee a 165 million-euro loan the banks had already agreed in September.

Abengoa holds a 41.9 percent stake in Abengoa Yield, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company has used about 39.5 percent of Abengoa Yield as guarantees for financing, leaving less than 2.5 percent of shares unencumbered, Moulder wrote.

Abengoa’s bond investors are being advised by Houlihan Lokey Inc. and Clifford Chance LLP. The group of noteholders includes BlackRock Inc., AIG, Invesco, D.E. Shaw, Varde Partners and Centerbridge Partners.

Abengoa Yield is changing its corporate brand to Atlantica Yield as it tries to distance itself from the founding company.

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