Pescanova debt revealed to be close to four billion euros

Adding subsidiaries and foreign units, fish-processing company’s arrears more than double admitted amount

The debt of Spanish seafood-processing group, Pescanova, which is in voluntary receivership, has close to four billion euros in short- and long-term debt, more than double the amount declared as of September of last year.

The company, which has admitted operating a dual accounting system, has yet to publish its revised balance sheet for last year despite repeated requests to do so by the National Securities Commission (CNMV). However, the figures it has released show that debts of 1.522 billion it had previously declared were only the tip of the iceberg.

The company has now acknowledged that the parent company alone has debt of 1.850 billion euros, while its Spanish subsidiaries owe 350 million, and the foreign units that it consolidates between 650 and 700 million. The group has also issued a further 400 million euros in bonds. In addition, the company also owes money to suppliers and the public administrations.

A court in Pontevedra last week officially accepted Pescanova’s request for receivership and removed its chairman, Manuel Fernández de Sousa, from office along with the rest of the management board. The company is now under the tutelage of the CNMV. Fernández de Sousa may face insider trading charges after secretly selling half of his stake in the company prior to its problems coming to light in March.

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