MADRID (Reuters) - A judge has awarded Spanish engineering and energy group Abengoa, which was under insolvency proceedings, to Spanish renewable energy company Cox Energy, a court document showed on Tuesday.
Cox Energy, a solar photovoltaic firm founded in 2014, submitted a bid valuing Abengoa at 564 million euros ($618 million) that prevailed over several total and partial offers, according to the document.
Abengoa has been under insolvency proceedings since June 2022, after a 6 billion euro debt restructuring process unravelled as Spain rejected an aid package that would have allowed it more time to evaluate a takeover bid from private equity firm TerraMar Capital LLC.
The Seville-based group had borrowed heavily for over a decade to fund an aggressive expansion into clean energy from its traditional infrastructure projects. It was delisted in September 2022 after trading of its shares was suspended for more than two years due to its debt woes.
In 2016, Abengoa had already avoided bankruptcy by striking a refinancing deal on debt worth 9 billion euros, which handed control of the company to creditors.
Cox Energy's bid includes 206 million euros of debt and outstanding guarantees for Abengoa projects, as well as another 252 million euros in project finance debt, the company said in a press release.
The judge highlighted that recently-founded Cox Energy is a small company whose business is complementary to Abengoa's and has committed to maintaining the latter's operations and staff. Abengoa has more than 9,000 employees worldwide.
The company frontloaded 2.5 million euros in February to pay Abengoa's workers' payroll delays.
Cox Energy, which has projects in Mexico, Chile, Panama, Colombia and Spain and a portfolio potentially capable of generating more than 5,000 megawatts at peak, prevailed over bids from Ultramar Energy Limited, Terramar/Nox Engineering and Urbas, as well as some partial bids such as those submitted by Acciona or Elecnor, according to the document.
($1 = 0.9119 euros)
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo Editing by David Latona and Mark Potter)
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