* Market cap slumps ahead of cash call
* Analysts say more capital needed
* Sources believe margin call triggered
By Robert Smith
LONDON, Aug 20 (IFR) - Abengoa’s share price has slumped to new lows, heaping pressure on the troubled Spanish energy outfit’s proposed right issue and increasing concerns around margin debt.
The company’s B shares fell by nearly 50% to 1.044 in the two days after Abengoa announced the shock 650m capital raise on August 3, a move the company’s CEO had ruled out just days before.
The stock has continued to bleed value, closing at just 0.77 on Wednesday.
The company’s market capitalisation is now just 760m, making a 650m rights issue even harder to achieve, particularly as Abengoa is yet to announce any underwriting commitments from banks.
To make matters worse, some analysts and investors now say that 650m is not enough to the plug the gap in Abengoa’s balance sheet.
“Even if the capital increase is underwritten and successful, the scale of the cash injection doesn’t solve the over-leveraged capital structure or the inability of the company to generate meaningful free cashflow aside from selling down the portfolio of concession assets built up over several years,” said BNP Paribas credit analysts in a note to clients.
The majority of Abengoa’s bonds are now bid at less than half of face value, according to Tradeweb prices, and a credit investor said he had heard that some bank loans were being offered at a cash price of just 40 on Thursday.
Abengoa has 5.7bn of corporate debt, and a hedge fund investor said such debt discounts send a strong signal about the scale of the problem Abengoa has to solve.
“650m is just a down-payment,” he said.
Abengoa has denied recent press reports that it has been advised to raise either the size of the rights issue or the scale of planned asset sales.
The slumping share price has also raised concerns around margin debt at various Abengoa entities.
Abengoa took out a US$200m two-year margin loan on June 29, posting a 14% stake in Abengoa Yield as collateral.
But the US-listed entity, which has bought a number of Abengoa’s operating assets, has been caught up in the sell-off, with its shares slumping to a new low of US$21.19 on Wednesday.
This is 34% drop from the date the Abengoa signed the loan, leading several investors to speculate that the drop has now triggered a margin call.
An Abengoa spokesperson did not confirm or deny that the company has posted additional collateral against the loan, instead stating that “the US$200m represents a very small percentage of Abengoa’s debt and a small percentage of the shares Abengoa owns”.
Abengoa has a 49% stake in Abengoa Yield, although around 7% of this is encumbered by an exchangeable bond.
Concerns have also grown around debt at Abengoa’s main shareholder Inversion Corporativa, a holding company whose owners include members of the families that founded Abengoa.
The holding company owns 26% of Abengoa’s B shares, according to Thomson Reuters data, but controls the company through majority ownership of its Class A shares.
Inversion Corporativa raised margin debt to fund its participation in Abengoa’s 2013 capital raise, according to documents seen by IFR.
Abengoa’s spokesperson said this loan was repaid in 2014. Abengoa’s former CEO Manuel Sanchez Ortega also told IFR in November that “they [Inversion Corporativa] don’t have any margin calls on the shares of Abengoa”.
But Spanish newspaper El Economista reported earlier this month that Inversion Corporativa has posted Abengoa shares as collateral for other loans, citing unnamed sources.
The Abengoa spokesperson said the company has no information regarding Inversion Corporativa’s financing.
The Benjumea family are the largest investors in Inversion Corporativa, through their investment vehicles Palmera Nueve and Royblanca. Felipe Benjumea Llorente is Abengoa’s executive chairman and son of the company’s founder.
Inversion Corporativa has said it will participate in the capital raise, although it has not said to what extent.
Its ability to raise funds could be crucial. Fellow Spanish concessions company OHL has secured an underwriting agreement for a larger 1bn capital raise, but only if its majority owner Grupo Villar Mir maintains more than a 50% stake.
Similarly, GVM is a holding company run by OHL’s chairman, Juan Miguel Villar Mir. (Reporting by Robert Smith. Editing by Matthew Davies and Julian Baker.)