Spanish concessionaire agrees debt haircut

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Spanish concessionaire agrees debt haircut

The concessionaire of Spain's Alicante-Cartagena highway has avoided entering into bankruptcy by agreeing a debt haircut with the syndicate of banks that financed the project.

The concessionaire has achieved a refinancing agreement, which includes a debt reduction of 30% of the total project debt, which is about €240 million.

The shareholders of the highway are Spanish contractor Ploder, Grupo Fuertes and three saving banks, Cajamar, Unicaja and Caja Murcia.

According to the banks, the 76.6 km road project could generate sufficient resources to pay its debt. In the first nine months of the year traffic has increased a 3.25%, to about 18,789 vehicles per day.

The highway, which opened in the summer of 2001, had an investment of €260 million.

This concession therefore avoids entering into the vehicle planned by the Spanish Infrastructure Ministry (Fomento) to nationalize bankrupt concessions. A greater haircut of 50 % of debt is planned for those road concessions.

The new vehicle will bring together at least nine concession holders, which together own 748 kilometers of toll roads. It includes:

  • 4 radial highways in Madrid, R-2, R-3, R-4, and R-5;
  • Barajas Airport - Madrid highway;
  • Madrid - Toledo highway;
  • AP-36 Ocaña - La Roda;
  • Cartagena - Vera highway; and
  • Alicante bypass highway.

Spanish banks including Banco Santander, BBVA, La Caixa, Banco Popular, Sabadell and Bankia, are willing to accept debt discounts of up to 50%, but the Association of Spanish contractors (Seopan), whose members own most of the concessions, has rejected this solution.

In July 2014 we reported that the concessionaire of AP-36 Ocaña - La Roda highway, one of the nine highway operators in bankruptcy in the country, has offered to its lenders an agreement to postpone the payment of its debt 43 years, until 2057.

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