Infrastructure developer Abengoa’s debt load has increased from $1 billion to $10 billion in 10 years. The borrowed funds were supposed to turn into high-value assets that would throw off steady cash flow with low operating costs. They haven’t in the renewable energy market. Low natural gas and oil prices, loss of subsidies, increased taxes and bad bets on scaled-up technology may be the undoing of one of the largest P3 developers in the world.
The Spanish company started insolvency proceedings on Nov. 25 after a potential investor, Gonvarri Steel, backed away from a deal that called for it to invest Euro 350 million (US$ 371 million) for a 28% equity stake in the embattled company. Abengoa’s stock price, which has been falling steadily since May, dropped another 50% after the news broke and now stands at $2.25 per share.