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Electrawinds seeks protection from creditors

11:32 10/12/2013
Green energy provider Electrawinds of Ostend has filed for protection from its creditors, the company announced yesterday. The filing concerns both the Ostend-based holding company and the Luxembourg-based holding company, which is listed on the stock market.

Electrawinds is currently in talks to strengthen its capital base and find new investors, and the filing aims to allow those negotiations to go ahead without the pressure of demands from creditors of the company’s €362 million debt. Last Friday, €40 million in bank debt fell due, and another €77 million will be repayable on 15 December.

To make matters worse, the company this week announced a loss of €59.4 million for the first nine months of the year – almost three times as much as the same period last year. Income was also up, however, by 14% to €93.2 million.

Unions at the troubled company complained at the lack of information. “It’s about time the staff at Electrawinds were told what is going on,” said socialist union representative Jan Van Wijngaerden. “This soap opera has gone on long enough … Everything we find out comes from the press.”

Electrawinds operates an offshore wind farm as well as biomass plants at home and abroad, employing a total of 235 people, 135 of them in Belgium. Last Friday saw a new effort – the fourth – to rescue the company, launched by the Ghent business consultancy Verbaere, De Clercq & Partners.

Written by Alan Hope