Spain's Vertice 360 Declares Insolvency

9:35 AM PST 04/16/2014 by Pamela Rolfe

Spanish stock exchange authorities suspended trading on the company after the announcement.

MADRID — Spanish media conglomerate Vertice 360 has declared insolvency and filed for a suspension of payments, which paves the way for a court-appointed administrator to prioritize debt and mediate payments with creditors.

The move comes after Vertice failed to reach an agreement on its own with its creditors. The film and television group has been seeking to increase capital through various methods since December 2013, after posting a financial debt of $19.9 million (€14.4 million), with $93.7 million (€67.8 million) in losses.

In addition to the Spanish treasury, which agreed to delay payment for $17.1 million (€12.4 million), creditors include Banco Espiritu Santo, Santander Bank, Deloitte, KPMG and others.

The group had been in talks with U.S. fund Red Apple, but negotiations reportedly failed due to the reluctance of Vertice’s main shareholder Ezentis, which holds 27.8 percent of the company. Ezentis is a company responsible for the “last mile” of telecommunication companies’ access to the end consumer.

Vertice sold off its audiovisual services subsidiary VSA las summer, but at the end of the first quarter of this year, the group announced it was negotiating the debt of 10 of its subsidiaries, including its film and TV holdings.

Under Jose Maria Irisarri’s leadership, Vertice became one of Spain’s leading players by acquiring key companies in each sector in the mid-2000s. Boutique TV producer Notro, mainstream comedy film producer Telespan and Spanish distributor Manga Films, among others, all fell under the Vertice umbrella. But Irisarri left in 2011, citing the end of a five-year cycle.

Stock exchange authorities suspended trading on Vertice stocks at $0.06 (€0.04). The company debuted on the exchange in December 2007 at $4.08 (€2.95) per share.

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