The Celsa steel group requests more than 350 million from the Government’s rescue fund | Economy

Interior of one of Celsa's factories, in an image provided by the company.
Interior of one of Celsa’s factories, in an image provided by the company.Illustrated Service (Automatic) / Europa Press

The Celsa steel group has formalized its request for help to the rescue fund for strategic government companies, as confirmed by sources close to the operation. The Rubiralta family company submitted its application a few weeks ago to the fund managed by the State Society for Industrial Participations (SEPI) for an amount greater than 350 million euros, according to the same sources. It is now in the process of analysis by the management council, which will have to decide whether to grant the request or propose any modification. According to business sources, this may still take about a month and a half.

Celsa thus joins other large companies that have already taken the step and asked for help from the fund created by the Executive with 10,000 million euros, endorsed by the European Commission. Spokesmen for Celsa did not want to comment on the matter and the SEPI has not specified the details of the operation for reasons of confidentiality.

At the moment, only Air Europa has received aid (475 million) from the rescue fund. Other firms such as Duro Felguera (100 million), Naviera Armas (120 million) and Ávoris (240 million) are at the same point as Celsa, waiting to pass the study phase and have their viability plan and the requested amount. Between the five, the requested amounts to almost 1,300 million euros. In addition, there are a dozen other companies that are collecting information. The forecast is that the flood of requests will arrive in the first quarter of 2021, according to business sources.

The Rubiralta company, with a presence in different Spanish communities, is one of the largest manufacturers of long metallurgical products for construction, automotive, energy and manufacturers of capital goods. At present, he is not going through a good financial moment and has been negotiating a debt restructuring with his creditors for months. The Catalan firm, for the moment, has managed to circumvent payment compliance due to the force majeure caused by the coronavirus crisis.

This is precisely one of the issues that you will have to demonstrate in your request for access to SEPI funds: that your financial problems are due to the pandemic. That is, before the shock of the coronavirus the company was solvent and, in addition, it has a feasibility plan – and loan repayment – realistic and possible. This is not trivial, since Celsa has financial problems and has had a debt of more than 2,000 million for several years.