Four bids are on the desk of the Board of the distressed Italian pasta maker Pasta Zara, which has been admitted to a creditors protection procedure (concordato preventivo con riserva) by the Treviso Court at the beginning of last June (see here a previous post by BeBeez) and having time till next December 7th to put forward a restructuring and relaunching plan.
The news spread out yesterday on the local Veneto Region press as Enrico Marchi, chairman of tgruppo Finanziaria Internazionale based in Conegliano Veneto, told the Corriere del Veneto that Finint has put forward a 30 million euros bid for 100% or a little less of Pasta Zara together with turnaround fund Pillarstone Italy. Marchi also said that a possibility is that the Bragagnolo family might remain with a small minority and that Finint might have a smaller stake than Pillarstone.
Amont the offers you cannot see the one coming from the new turnaround fund promoted by Veneto Sviluppo and Pillarstone and managed by FVS sgr, as the fund has just launched its fundraising (see here a previous post by BeBeez), while a big Spanish industrial player already active in Italy is said to be among the bidders.
Pasta Zara is controlled by the Bragagnolo family with Friulia (the financial holding company of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region) owning a 11.25% stake and Simest (a Government-backed investiment company focused on supporting Italian companies abroad) owing a 11.76% stake.
Pasta Zara is burdened by a gross financial debt of 241 million euros, of which 178 millions are versus banks, with 73 millions versus distressed Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca. Those 73 million euros have been then transferred to SGA. Moreover Zara’s holding company (Luxembourg-based Ffauf sa owned by the Bragagnolo family) has a 50 million euros debt with Bank of China.
Banls and bondholders (Pasta Zara once issued a 5 million euro minibond) have been in talks for months with Pasta Zara’s shareholders in order to sign a debt restructuring agreement on the basis of the Italian Bankruptcy Law (art. 182-bis). The company posted a 25.7 million euros net loss in 2017, partly due to a 9 million euros devaluation of stakes owned in the capital of Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza , with a net financial debt of around 200 million euros.