(Adds background on ICA situation)
MEXICO CITY, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Mexican construction firm ICA’s chief executive officer is resisting pressure for his ouster, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, as the cash-strapped company struggles to keep its creditors at bay.
Alonso Quintana Kawage, grandson of the founder of Mexico’s largest construction firm, took its helm in 2012 and has been criticized for presiding over the company’s steep slide into debt.
A columnist for Mexican newspaper El Universal on Friday reported that board members in a meeting last Wednesday decided to oust Quintana. The two people familiar with the matter said no such decision was made.
One of them said pressure for the ouster was coming from the board, which is presided over by Quintana’s father, Bernando Quintana Isaac, and includes other family members. He served as CEO from 1994 to 2006.
Two company spokesmen contacted by email and phone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shares in the firm, which built the iconic tower that houses state oil giant Pemex, are down 76 percent over the past year, and were trading around 12 percent lower on Friday morning.
The company, which this week defaulted on its third straight interest payment, saw its net debt reach 51.147 billion pesos ($2.97 billion) in the third quarter as a slump in the peso caused its dollar debt value to balloon.
Aided by Rothschild and FTI Consulting, the company, which has also been hit by a slump in government infrastructure spending, has promised to draw up an initial restructuring plan by mid-February.
But as banks cash in on collateral for loans and income from projects slows, hopes for avoiding a bankruptcy proceeding are fading fast.
Alfonso Gonzalez Migoya, non-executive chairman of low-cost airline Volaris, was brought on as co-CEO in December to help carry out the company’s operational and financial restructuring while Quintana continued to run operations.
One of the sources said Gonzalez Migoya would be an obvious choice to succeed Quintana. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Roberto Aguilar and Cyntia Barrera; Editing by Simon Gardner, Christian Plumb and W Simon)