Financial Fallout Spreads.
Abengoa Bioenergy US Holding filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, listing up to $10 billion in total liabilities, including an unsecured leveraged loan of $1.45 billion and unsecured bonds of $3.85 billion. It didn’t list its secured debts. The filing was prompted by involuntary bankruptcy petitions by three US grain suppliers, which claim to be owed more than $4 million in unpaid invoices – million with an “m,” that’s how out of money this outfit is.
Even by recent standards, Spain’s teetering green-energy giant Abengoa SA has not had a good week. First, its former President, Felipe Benjumea, and former CEO, Manuel Sanchez Ortega, faced the indignity of standing trial for malfeasance over the exorbitant payoffs they awarded themselves just months before the company hit the wall. In Sánchez Ortega’s case, he is also accused of sharing insider information about Abengoa’s finances with his new employer, the world’s biggest investment fund, BlackRock [read: The Mother of All Shorts].
During testimony, Sánchez Ortega claimed that it was pure coincidence that BlackRock had placed a sizable short position against Abengoa just weeks after hiring him, one of the few people with first-hand knowledge of the true state of the company’s accounts. Benjumea told the court that the only problem Abengoa suffers from is a liquidity pinch.
That’s right: the sole reason why the Seville-based company has had to file for preliminary bankruptcy and is just one month away from going down in history as Spain’s biggest ever corporate failure is that it’s a little short on cash at the moment…
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