New chapter in the legal confrontation between the Rubiraltas and the creditor funds for control of Celsa. Lexaudit, the independent expert chosen for the restructuring, presented its valuation this week and valued the steelmaker at a maximum price of 2,800 million, an amount equal to the debt it carries both with vehicles and with banks. “Since the value does not even cover the company’s liabilities, Celsa’s shares are worthless”, denounce the funds. However, the current owners of the organization reject the numbers and claim to have a valuation of 6,000 million euros made by Lazard.
The group of creditors, among which are Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Goldentree, Sculptor, Cross Ocean and Trinity Investments, celebrates that the report “demonstrates that Celsa’s value is currently below 2,800 million and, therefore, well below the threshold initially announced by the shareholders”. The company owes precisely 2.8 billion between the two debt securities signed with the funds and the 525 million of current credit arranged with the bank.
Investors thus reaffirm their willingness to reject the public redemption of 550 million SEPI, frozen pending an agreement between both parties. “Any shareholder value would mean a direct and incremental loss for the company’s creditors,” they add.
Celsa closed 2022 with revenues of 6.084 million and Ebitda of 867 million
However, the Catalan company defends its estimates with the numbers of the last two years in hand. Celsa ended 2022 with record revenues and Ebitda: sales amounted to 6,084 million euros and gross profit to 867 million euros; Numbers higher than those of 2021, the year in which a turnover of 5,283 million and an Ebitda of 670 million euros was recorded.
In this way, the Catalan saga understands that both the funds and the independent specialist -placed at the request of the creditors- underestimate the company.
The numbers war came after Lexaudit delivered its report to Barcelona’s Tribunal Mercantil 2, as announced by Expansión. The firm was based on the analysis of Grant Thornton to value the steel company between 2,400 and 2,775 million euros, a value that does not reach the total liabilities accumulated by the organization.
The decision on the company’s future is now in the hands of the judge, who is leading the case after the funds asked for a restructuring in September under the new bankruptcy law. Lenders offered a write-off of 1.291 million debts in exchange for taking over 100% of the capital.
Extrajudicial negotiations: the Rubiraltas agree to allow resources to enter the capital
Appeals are moving forward with the court case while out-of-court negotiations resumed in February. The family that owns the steel plant has agreed for the first time to allow creditors to enter the company’s capital, provided they remain below 50%. Talks are now being resumed as the resolution of the restructuring plan approaches.
As sources close to the negotiating table explained to elEconomista.es, the discussion revolves around two points at the moment: the creation of a new debt instrument in exchange for the haircut required by Sepi to unlock the redemption of 550 million and the entry of creditors in Capital.
Being at an incipient stage, it is not yet clear what percentage the group of funds led by Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs could reach or how much the new debt instrument will cost. The last offer made by Celsa before investors asked the court for a restructuring plan contemplated the creation of a new debt bond of 450 million at 8% based on the European Union.
The proposal took up the telegram made by the debtors on June 9, which called for a mechanism of 550 million at 10% interest based in Luxembourg. It also included the right to 49% of the profits, something that until then was a limit for the Rubiraltas.