Business

Pescanova hid two costly disasters at its Portuguese plant

Turbot factory failures caused losses worth 70 million Company never published 2012 financial results

Pescanova never informed investors nor the market watchdog about 70 million euros in losses following two incidents at its Portuguese plant in Mira, it has emerged. The giant fish processing company, which is in technical bankruptcy, had until today to clear up a 1.4-billion-euro hole in its accounts, after confessing to Spain's markets watchdog, the CNMV, that it had a double accounting system.

But Pescanova's auditor, BDO, completed a report in February that mentioned the company was waiting to receive hefty insurance compensation over "two disasters" at its Mira fish factory between 2011 and 2012. The incidents caused the death of the entire fish population and losses worth 70 million euros. Despite the fact that its profit forecast could no longer be met, Pescanova never informed investors nor the market authorities of the issue, and failed to release its 2012 financial results.

The Mira plant was inaugurated in June 2009 by then-Portuguese prime minister José Sócrates. Pescanova president Manuel Fernández de Sousa proudly explained that the largest turbot plant in the world, which cost 140 million euros to build, would create 200 jobs out of a total workforce of 10,000.

Pescanova's creditor banks are waiting for the company to finally present its 2012 financial results to the CNMV before opening talks on a restructuring plan for the company.

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