The Monje Family Puts Assignia Construction Group Up For Sale

9 December 2016 – Expansión

The Monje Tuñón family, the controlling shareholder of Assignia Infrastructuras, has launched a feasibility plan to refinance the construction company’s debt and resolve the collapse of the group that has, amongst other consequences, resulted in the delayed payment of the last three months salaries to the workforce of 1,600 employees and which may force the company to suspend its payments it it fails to reach an agreement over the next few weeks.

The owner, which has stepped up talks with its financial creditors, is considering several measures to comply with the banks’ demands and access new lines of financing. In addition to the sale of several smaller assets, the Monje family has put the construction company up for sale, after identifying interest from several investment funds and two Asian industrial groups. The aim is that, with the entry of a new shareholder through a capital increase, the company’s balance sheet would be strengthened and an agreement would be facilitated with the banks to refinance a €60 million debt, which matures in December this year. (…).

The construction company forms part of the group of medium-sized companies in the sector, it is geographically diverse (with operations in 14 countries) and has several valuable assets, especially those granted under concession agreements. Assignia recorded turnover of €250 million in 2015, up by 12% compared with the previous year, and an EBITDA of €18 million. Its result was negative (-€4 million) due to its significant financial expenses, which amount to €12 million per year.

The group’s production portfolio currently amounts to around €700 million, but some of that amount is doubtful, given that Assignia, like all of the other companies in the sector has fallen victim to non-payments by debtors. (…).

As such, the company is preparing to implement an ERE redundancy plan in Spain, which will affect around 150 people, equivalent to almost 10% of its workforce. (…).

In the meantime, negotiations with the banks continue. The aim is that the banks will facilitate new maturity periods and open new lines of credit to ensure the continued operation of the company. Assignia’s financial debt is distributed between 10 banks through a syndicated loan that had to be renegotiated in March this year. Santander is the agent bank and Bankia is the entity with the highest exposure (around €20 million). CaixaBank and Sabadell, amongst others, also participate in the syndicate.

Original story: Expansión (by C. Morán)

Translation: Carmel Drake