Fuente: El Mundo

Felipe Benjumea, president of Abengoa until September 2015, has sued Banco Santander and HSBC before the courts of first instance of Madrid for the damages and losses suffered during the crisis of the energy company. Santander and HSBC, according to Benjumea, precipitated the company’s crisis by using its weight as creditors to impose the exit of the company of the then president as a condition for debt restructuring. Corporate investment was Abengoa’s reference partner, which now claims together with Finarpisa and Ardachón more than 1,000 million as compensation for that process, for which the company ended up recognizing a consolidated gross debt of 8,900 million euros. Their participation has been reduced from 51.35% to the current 2.9%. The action of the creditors caused, according to the plaintiffs, “a collapse of liquidity” leading the company to take advantage of the pre-competition of creditors. The lawsuit headed by Benjumea considers a proven fact that on the same day that a capital increase was to be approved for 650 million euros to reinforce the company’s own funds, the group chaired by Ana Botín torpedoed the agreement by demanding the resignation of the company’s president and his departure from the board of directors. HSBC joined the request of Santander, preventing the insurance of the operation and unleashing a “wave of speculation” in the market against Abengoa. “The total loss of confidence prevented the operation” and led the company, according to Benjumea, to “a point of no return” that resulted in the closing of liquidity lines and the inability to service their debt. The demand is focused on the exact moment of the negotiation of the capital increase. By then, the situation of the company was already very compromised. The doubts began when in 2014, the Fitch agency questioned the figures of the group and in particular the debt was much higher than the recognized. In just one year the company chaired by Benjumea went from surpassing the 4,000 million euros in stock, to be worth 250 million, 95% less.


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