Prodiel negotiates its integration into a larger company after losing 167 million in 2021

Prodiel, a Sevillian multinational specializing in the promotion, development and construction of large renewable energy production plants, closed 2021 with a Negative EBITDA (operating result without taking into account depreciation, interest or exceptional items) of 105 million euros and post-tax losses of 167 million euros, which contrasts with the positive Ebitda of 2020 (111 million) and the total profit of that year (91 million). Billings were also more than halved: from 661 million to 334.

The result, very negative, is due – as explained by the vice-president of the cabinet, Miguel Some Dominguez, in a virtual meeting with several media, to a very complicated situation of rising raw material prices, difficulties in transporting materials and delays in the processing of public administration projects. This caused a perfect storm which paralyzed the projects that Prodiel had in its portfolio (about four gigawatts) and precipitated the entry of an investor, already planned for a few years.

The multinational has decided to assume the costs already incurred from these stopped projects and integrate them into the 2021 balance sheet. And it has reached agreements with customers in three of the four gigabytes of the portfolio to consider the projects completed. This does not mean that they will not be made, but rather that the counter is reset in view of a future renegotiation of the conditions.

“We have been extremely cautious on the balance sheet and we provisioned everything like we were never going to do a construction project. The value of our subsidiaries becomes nil, we have depreciated it”, explains Miguel Somé, vice-president of the company which the also president of Betis, Ángel Haro, presides.

According to Somé, the advantage of “providing everything that can be provisioned” is that Prodiel can only grow. “Now we are on the -5 floor of the parking lot and the only thing we can do is go up,” he says.

In this context, the group is looking for a new configuration that will allow it to overcome the crisis and be a major player in the future.

To do this, he first solved the commercial debt with suppliers, which amounted to 100 million euros. A part, 70 million, has already been settled thanks to the income of 80 million from the sale to Smartenergy of a portfolio of projects of one gigabyte. And the remaining 30 million have been refinanced, with which, according to Somé, “there are no more outstanding payments with suppliers”.

Second, he has restructured 114 million bank debtsso that he obtained a one-year grace period for interest and amortization of the debt until June 2025. Prodiel was advised in the negotiation by Cuatrecasas and Amura Partners and the banks by Price, FTI Consulting and the Gómez -Office Acebo and Pombo.

The completion of debt restructuring, both commercial and financial, in seven months enabled Prodiel to avoid filing for bankruptcy and even pre-bankruptcy. “It’s true that it protects but it also makes noise and it has a reputational cost,” explains Somé. He also did not have to undertake an Employment Regulation File (ERE). It reduced its workforce as projects were completed and at the Seville headquarters the workforce was reduced by 7% through agreed redundancies. 594 people currently work at Prodiel.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, Prodiel predicts that a investing partner join the company at the end of the year to undertake the promotion of 15 new gigawatts in Spain and the rest of Europe. It is the lifeline of the group, and implies the entry into the capital of this partner – who would come above all to ensure the financing – and the dilution of the shares of the current shareholders. At present, the company is 45% owned by Ángel Haro, president of Betis, 45% by the Catalan Godia family (45%) and José María Vicente (10%).

Prodiel’s intention is to join “a larger group which has all the trades except those to which we bring: development and construction; and which above all has an investment capacity”. It is the latter that will allow Prodiel to offer the necessary financial guarantee which it does not currently have due to its own situation.

Logically, Somé does not give too many details on the negotiation. It simply indicates that it is “progressing adequately” and that He hopes that at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, it will come to fruition.

In 2022, the company expects to continue making losses, but not as large as last year. The speed of the recovery, explains Somé, will depend on the haste of the public administrations when it comes to unblocking the procedures in progress.

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