Pemex will keep injecting capital to Fertinal and Agronitrogenados

The capitalization approved by Pemex in February will be the second attempt to rescue Fertinal

Pemex will keep injecting capital to Fertinal and Agronitrogenados
Fertinal and Agronitrogenados were bankrupt when Pemex acquired them - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/07/2019 16:36 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 16:48
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The fertilizer plants from Agronitrogenados and Fertinal, which are being investigated for the irregularities that plague their acquisition by Pemex, will continue being inefficient and useless in 2019 and 2020.

In February 2019, Pemex's Administrative Council decided to capitalize on the fertilizer plants but decided that the resources allocated to bail out the plants will be used to pay debts, interests, instead of financing the rehabilitation program they urgently need.

Pemex's subsidiary, Pemex Fertilizers, paid MXN $478 million worth of interests accumulated by Agronitrogenados and Fertinal in 2018. During the first trimester of 2019, their debts increased to MXN $163 million.

The decision to bail both companies out was made on February 26 and was approved by Rocío Nahle, the Energy Minister, who is the president of Pemex's Administrative Council; the Finance Undersecretary, Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, and independent counselors. During the meeting, counselor Carlos Elizondo Mayer-Serra did not approve the capitalization, especially in the case of Fertinal, because it is a company that does not “generates any value.”

Rogelio Hernández Cazares, the general director at Mexican Fertilizers, explained that the resources “will be exclusively allocated to the payment of interests (…) because the problem is the huge burden of their debt.”

During the transition period, the current government received a report that stated that Pemex Fertilizer received Agronitrogenados without any budget to cover the working capital and debt servicing, which caused a debt of USD $65.7 million after it hired a construction company to rehabilitate the facilities.

The debt originated because, on July 29, 2014, Agronitrogenados hired a construction company, Avanzia, in order to rehabilitate two of its plants. The budget for the rehabilitation was authorized for USD $485 million and on December 2014, Agronitrogenados approved the signing of a financing agreement with Nafin.

In late 2017 and 2018, Agronitrogenados restructured the financing with Nafin for USD $390 million. The company paid USD $140 million but its debt to Nafin is USD $250 million.

Moreover, in 2018, acknowledged the impairment of assets for USD $212.6 million because when Pemex acquired Agronitrogenados, all the plants were useless and only two were rehabilitated.

The information obtained by EL UNIVERSAL shows that the company requires the capitalization of USD $30 million for operative and financial contingencies.

In regards to Fertinal, when Pemex acquired the company in 2015, it presented USD $12 million losses in its monthly flow. Fertinal was basically bankrupt. Also, Pemex acquired the company even when it presented a negative working capital.

In July 2016, Pemex launched its rescue program for Fertinal and invested USD $120 million.

The capitalization approved by the Administrative Council in February will be the second attempt to rescue Fertinal.


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