Economy

The giant China Railway buys Aldesa

Aldesa

Four and a half months after the official announcement, after obtaining the permits from the Competition authorities, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has closed the purchase of 75% of the capital of Aldesa, a Spanish company owned by the Fernández Rubio family, which was in trouble financial. The Asian company, the second largest company in the construction sector, has decided to definitively seal the takeover of the Madrid company despite the impact that covid-19 is having on the world economy and on the brick sector in particular.

The signing of the purchase of 75% of the capital was initialed last Friday May 8 before a notary public, at which time CRCC informed Aldesa's creditors of the purchase of the bonds that were in circulation and that the Spanish company could not have paid. under current conditions. In fact, fixed income securities, for which the construction company paid a coupon of 7.25%, fell to 35% of their value in early October 2019 when the family group announced a reduction in its forecasts for results.

After the first announcement of the purchase on December 26, as El Confidencial exclusively announced on November 18, the bonds rose to almost 100% of their value, since the acquisition was made with the contribution through expansion of capital of 256 million euros by the Chinese multinational. China Railway Construction Corporation, which invoices nearly 100,000 million dollars, decided to take control after carrying out in just two months the 'due diligence' or internal analysis of the accounts of Aldesa, which has a turnover of some 1,000 million euros a year.

Aldesa now has enough muscle to continue its activity in a pandemic. In fact, in addition to the capital increase, the company has obtained a syndicated loan of 180 million, largely financed by Chinese banks. The main Haitong Bank, which was the advisor, along with JP Morgan, of the purchase of 75% of the capital. This new loan replaces the long-term debt that until now was held by Bankia, Sabadell, CaixaBank, Santander, BBVA and the ICO.

In the face of the change in control of the group, of which the Fernández Rubio family will retain 25% of the capital and management, Aldesa has launched an offer to repurchase the bonds at 101% of the nominal amount. The bondholders may voluntarily decide until May 19 if they accept the offer or prefer to keep the securities, which on Friday were changed to 97% of their nominal value.

Operations in "stand by"

Aldesa is present in Spain, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Norway, India, Romania and Uruguay, although the bulk of its turnover is recorded in Mexico (49%), Spain (36%) and Poland (10%). Several of these three countries are among the most affected by the coronavirus.

Several corporate operations that were underway have been stopped precisely out of fear of the effects of covid-19. For example, OHL has seen how the sale of the Old War Office building in London, announced in late February, has been put on 'stand by' by decision of the buyer, the Hinduja family. For its part, Telefónica has seen how the Millicon group has backed down in the acquisition of its subsidiary in Colombia. And Codere has suffered the pandemic when it received the refusal of the Chilean group Sun Dreams to sign the purchase of its casinos in Uruguay, a transfer that would have helped it avoid its current difficult situation.

Digital Newspaper El Confidencial

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