The Government has approved a total of 12 financial aid operations under the Support Fund for the Solvency of Strategic Companies, managed by the State Society for Industrial Participations (SEPI), to “reinforce” the solvency of companies considered “strategic” and affected for the coronavirus pandemic. These grants add up to a total of 1,506.83 million euros, 15.1% of the total endowment that the fund has, according to figures from Servimedia.
The fund is endowed with 10,000 million euros and so far operations have been approved representing 15.1% of the total, with 8,493.17 million euros, 84.9%, remaining available. Almost all have been approved in 2021, with the exception of Air Europa, which was the first and received the green light in 2020.
It should be remembered that this fund was approved by the Government in July 2020 with the aim of “providing temporary public support to reinforce the solvency of non-financial companies affected by the pandemic that are considered strategic for the national or regional productive fabric.”
SEPI is hiring independent consultants in order to analyze new aid operations that have been requested, among others, by Blue Sea Hotels, Silken, Vincci Hotels, Volotea, the chain of dental clinics and aesthetic medicine Vivanta and the publishing house Vicens Vives.
So far, the companies that have received financial support are Grupo Soho Boutique Hoteles, Air Europa, voris Corporacin Empresarial, Plus Ultra Lneas Areas, Duro Felguera, Tubos Reunidos, Rugui Steel, Hotusa, Grupo Airtificial, Grupo Serhs, Reinosa Forgings & Castings and Grupo Losn. Six belong to the industrial sector and six to the tourism sector.
The 1,506.83 million granted to these 12 companies represent 28% of the total amount requested so far, which amounts to 5,345.4 million euros.
Support operations may consist of granting equity loans, ordinary loans, convertible debt, subscription of shares or social participation or any other capital instrument.
The first authorized operation was that of the Air Europa airline, which amounted to 475 million, through a participatory loan for the amount of 240 million and an ordinary loan of 235 million. According to SEPI, the company provides an “essential service” to ensure the “adequate” connectivity of Spain and has a “relevant character in Spanish air transport, both due to the volume of passengers transported, the markets and the routes served.”
In the case of the Asturian engineer Duro Felguera, the amount amounted to 120 million channeled through a participative loan for 70 million, an ordinary loan of 20 million and a capital contribution or, where appropriate, a new participatory loan, for a global amount of 30 million. The SEPI justified the aid by being “one of the companies with a more notable weight in the economy of Asturias”.
Regarding the aid approved for voris Corporacin Empresarial, a company resulting from the integration of the Barcel and Globalia groups, this amounted to 320 million euros channeled through a participatory loan of 163.2 million and an ordinary loan of 156.2 million. 8 million. For SEPI, the strategic character of the company is “undeniable”, since it has “a notable presence in international markets, a significant market share and a large volume of business.”
On the other hand, the Hotusa group received aid of 241 million – a participatory loan of 190 million and an ordinary loan of 51 million. According to the organism, the group has a “relevant” strategic character within the tourism sector as it is present in 17 countries, with more than 4,300 associated hotels.
For its part, the Basque company Tubos Reunidos received aid of 112.8 million euros through a participatory loan because it is “one of the top ten world producers of martensic stainless steel pipe for oil and gas”.
In March, the Council of Ministers approved the controversial aid to Plus Ultra Lneas Areas, which was harshly criticized by the opposition parties. The amount amounted to € 53 million, channeled through a 34 million equity loan and an ordinary loan of 19 million. For the agency, Plus Ultra is a “niche airline that operates long-haul flights to Latin American countries.”
Likewise, the Rugui Steel Group received aid of 25.03 million channeled through a participating loan of 13.5 million and an ordinary loan of 11.5 million. This steel company has “relevant strategic character due to its impact on employment and the economy, both nationally and regionally,” according to SEPI.
In the case of Reinosa Forgings & Castings SLU (formerly Sidenor), the amount of the aid amounts to 27 million – a participatory loan of 13.77 million and an ordinary loan of 13.23 million – for having “a position of European leadership and it is a strategic asset that offers products with high added value, being the only company in Spain in its sector “.
The Serhs group also received aid for 34 million euros, channeled through a participatory loan of 17.34 million and an ordinary loan of a total of 16.66 million, which includes distribution, hotels, food and services.
The Airtificial group, a company specializing in applied artificial intelligence, received aid for the same amount, which, according to SEPI, has a “relevant strategic character within the industrial sector.”
Another company that has received aid is Losn, for an amount of 35 million euros, channeled through a participatory loan of 21.6 million, and an ordinary loan of 13.4 million, as it is a “benchmark in the sector. of wood at the national level “and a” strategic “company for the economies of Galicia, Castilla y Len and Castilla-La Mancha.
The last aid granted has been to the Soho Boutique Hotels Group, for a total amount of 30 million euros, channeled through a participative loan for the amount of 24 million and an ordinary loan of 6 million euros. The tourist company manages 28 hotel establishments.
According to the managing body itself, to be a beneficiary of the aid, companies must present a Feasibility Plan to overcome their crisis situation. Likewise, the procedure includes a “rigorous and exhaustive” analysis of all the information provided by the requesting company and includes “the performance of ‘due diligence’, the final design of the Viability Plan, the negotiation of its application and the agreement on the aid scheme “.
The authorization of the Council of Ministers is necessary and, in the case of aid with an amount exceeding 250 million euros, they must be notified individually to the European Commission. Thanks to the extension agreed with the Commission itself, the field of application of these grants was extended until June 30, 2022.