Abengoa SA, headquartered in Spain, is a global renewable energy, construction and engineering company that developed a wide range of clean energy projects (solar thermal, biofuels, combined cycle power plants) in Latin America, the U.S., and throughout Europe. The company began to show signs of distress after accumulating massive debt (over $15 billion), fueled by an aggressive expansion plan. Abengoa develops various technologies to generate electricity from renewable resources, converts biomass into biofuels, and produce drinking water from sea water, amongst others. Abengoa was previously one of the world’s top builders of power lines transporting energy across Latin America and a top engineering and construction business, developing and constructing many large renewable energy projects in the U.S.
As the parent company fell behind on its payment obligations, Abengoa’s investors decided that the company’s best option would be to seek pre-bankruptcy protection in Spain. Simultaneously, Abengoa and its creditors began global restructuring negotiations. A key component of this restructuring strategy was to divest certain non-core assets, including projects in Egypt, Brazil, Chile, Europe, and Africa, as well as six ethanol production facilities in the U.S. (Madison, IL, Mt. Vernon, IN, York, NE, Ravenna, NE, Colwich, KS and Portales, NM).
A Carl Marks Advisors team led by partner Chris Wu, was engaged to run the sale process and auction of Abengoa’s U.S. biofuel facilities, based on its leading position within the broader biofuels industry, extensive first-hand knowledge of the buyer universe for such assets, as well as its demonstrated restructuring expertise and successful track record of maximizing value in difficult circumstances.