(Reuters) – Ailing Spanish fishing firm Pescanova is considering a non-binding takeover offer from a consortium which includes U.S. private equity firm KKR and shareholder Damm, a domestic brewer.
Pescanova filed for insolvency earlier this year after its auditors said managers had attempted to hide debt. The drawn-out insolvency process could end in a liquidation or a plan to re-float the company.
Pescanova said in a statement on Friday it had received five offers, but did not put a value on these, or on the one presented by the consortium, which also includes shareholder Luxempart and investment group Ergon Capital Partners.
Trading in Pescanova shares have been suspended since March.
The bids all required Pescanova’s lenders to take varying degrees of losses as part of any takeover deal, Spanish media reported on Friday.
The consortium formed by KKR, Damm, Luxempart and Ergon would want banks to write off 80 percent of the debt, while other offers asked for even steeper losses, Cinco Dias reported without citing sources.
Pescanova declined to comment on the details of the takeover talks.
Bankruptcy administrator Deloitte said this week that Pescanova had 3.2 billion euros of debt at the end of 2012, making it one of Spain’s biggest bankruptcies. Creditors include Sabadell, Popular, Caixabank and nationalised lender NCG Banco, though it is not known how much debt is held just by banks. Pescanova said it would immediately start talks with its biggest creditors on the takeover offer, to ensure the company’s survival.
Damm owns 6.2 percent of Pescanova, according to Thomson Reuters data, while Luxempart has 5.8 percent.