Abengoa seeking financing for Elliott loan repayment: sources

viernes 25 de septiembre de 2015 05:12 GYT

By Robert Smith

LONDON, Sept 25 (IFR) - Abengoa intends to refinance a 200m project finance loan from a US hedge fund, but may have trouble doing so given the market's continued wariness of the Spanish energy firm's debt.

Multiple sources told IFR the loan came from Elliott Management, the US fund involved in a long-running battle with Argentina over its sovereign debt default.

Abengoa decided to call the loan ahead of its July agreement to sell the underlying assets, as part of a disposal programme to bolster its balance sheet. Sources indicate that the loan is yet to be repaid. Abengoa declined to comment.

The episode sheds light on Abengoa's funding needs in the lead up to its 650m equity capital raise, in which its main shareholder will concede control.

It highlights the difficulties the company could still face in refinancing billions of euros of project finance bridge loans. Abengoa classes many of these loans as "non recourse debt in process", excluding them from its corporate debt figures even though they usually benefit from a corporate guarantee.

Abengoa's decision to reclassify a corporate bond as non-recourse last year spooked the bond market, triggering more scrutiny of its accounting practices and debt levels.

The company had 2.2bn of non-recourse debt in process as of June 2015.