Friday, July 1

The future of the largest private shipyard in Spain: Hijos de J. Barreras activates the bankruptcy phase

The Fat Christmas of 2021 fell by 8; the last bankruptcy in the history of Hijos de J. Barreras, in 22. The shipyard managers, owned by the Oaktree fund through a complex corporate network, chose the day of the lottery to present, last December, the request for bankruptcy in the Commercial Court number 3 of Pontevedra, based in Vigo. A procedure with which the company has already completed all the springs of a process that will have two derivatives: the first, the transfer of its production unit in favor of Astilleros Armón, Astilleros Gondán or Marina Meridional; the second, the liquidation of the joint-stock company, with the end of a centenary business trajectory. The industrial redemption of Barreras, which today occupies an area of ​​about 90,000 square meters –private and under port concession–, is underway. The bankruptcy mechanism chosen is that of the prepack bankruptcy, as Faro de Vigo advanced, which will make it easier for the land to change hands more quickly.

The Kroll consulting team has already notified Mercantil of the existence of these negotiations aimed at the transfer of the facilities, since the three interested groups will not stay with society. That is, the contingencies that stain the balance sheet of Hijos de J. Barreras will remain within the SA, as the Spanish banks did in their day when they transferred to the Sareb (bad bank) your problematic brick assets. There the debts with the auxiliary industry will lie, which exceed 12 million euros – between the suppliers of the Havila Kystruten and Armas project -, or the more than 57 million that the Norwegian shipping company claims from the shipyard in a judicial process that will be disputed in London the next summer. Being a prepackKroll has requested the appointment of a kind of independent manager, who will become an insolvency administrator. His identity has not been revealed. With the money received from the sale, those outstanding debts must be paid, in order of priority..

The fact that a prepack bankruptcy –it is relatively similar to an anticipated agreement proposal– makes the collapse of Barreras an even more unique case. Beyond some procedure approved in Catalonia, the prepack it’s a mechanism Virgin in Spain; the legislative power has not approved the normative transposition of the European directive 2019/1023, which is the one that provides the legal seams. In this way, the judge of the Mercantile of Vigo Amelia Perez She will foreseeably be the first magistrate in Galicia to direct such a procedure. Legal sources highlight its “technical excellence” in commercial matters. But he will not act alone, since The board of directors of the Vigo Port Authority must validate the transfer of the 67,876 square meters of concession of those that Barreras enjoys today (between its facilities and those of the old Aucosa and that expire in 2039 and 2041, respectively). If Kroll had requested the liquidation of the shipyard before requesting the “ok” from the Port, the concession, as happened to the old Vulcano, would be automatically terminated.

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According to the sources consulted, there are two options that they have “all the guarantees” of being able to prosper. These are those of Gondán and Armón, with extensive experience in the Spanish shipbuilding industry and with about twenty ships in force. As this newspaper learned, and despite the fact that little details of both projects have been known, both groups offer immediate workload guarantees. Gondán, for example, has provided a signed commitment that “ensures” the construction of four offshore vessels to serve offshore wind farms. This endorsement bears the signature of the dome of the holding Norwegian Østensjø Rederi, the same one for which he is assembling today in Castropol many other similar boats. Space limitations in its facilities forced this shipyard to assign a contract to the Basques from Balenciaga.

On an economic level, and given its powerful treasury position, Armón’s is the proposal that would best satisfy the Ritz-Carlton Yacht’s ambitions (trademark used by the owner of Barreras). Gondán, however, is the one that has put on the table a greater number of relocations of the shipyard’s workforce, which amounts to today – they are mostly in ERTE situation – to 118 people. Now, the companies that preside Laudelino Alperi Y Alvaro Platero, respectively, they do not have the same plans for all the lands that Barreras occupies today. Other sources consulted suggest that Armón’s higher disbursement could result in a larger perimeter, a scenario that would occur, for example, in the event that Gondán did not want private plots (between Beiramar and Tomás Alonso), and mortgaged at the moment in favor of one of the Ritz-Carlton companies. None of the sources consulted by this newspaper gives Navy Meridional options, owner of the defunct Factorías Vulcano.

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