Efacec shows signs of recovery, but debt increases

  • ECO News
  • 16 September 2021

The company posted positive operating results in the first semester. The privatisation process moved to the third phase and should be concluded by the end of November.

Efacec improved its activity indicators in the first six months of the year. Orders and invoicing grew by 16% and 30% year-on-year, but debt continued to worsen in times of pandemic and with the reprivatisation process dragging on for over a year. Last week the government opened the third phase of negotiations with the two candidates, DST and Sodecia.

The robustness of Efacec’s results has been a topic of discussion because there are two candidates – DST and Sing-Investimentos Globais (Sodecia group) – with offers on the table to buy the 71.73% stake that the state has in the company.

These offers vary between €1 and €1 million, but the government wants to see them improved in an attempt to “maximise competition” and “get the offer that best ensures the public interest”. But the goal is to close the deal by the end of November, as ECO has already reported.

Efacec obtained €148.5 million in orders in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 16%, but below the 250 million generated in the previous six months. On the other hand, the company posted a turnover of €148.3 million, a year-on-year increase of 30%, but a drop of 42% compared to the previous six-month period.

However, indebtedness maintains its upward trend. Net debt reached €162.8 million in June, an increase of 66% compared to the first six months of 2020. And gross debt exceeds €180 million.

In operational terms, the results are also more positive as a result of a reduction in provisions and impairments. EBITDA went from negative €20 million in the first half of 2020 to positive €1 million a year later.

Efacec’s results have strengthened, but the candidates for reprivatisation have other expectations, arising from the due diligence carried out, which point to a negative adjusted EBITDA of €60 million in 2020 and of around €30 million this year. Therefore, DST and Sing-Investimentos Globais presented offers to buy the state’s shareholder position with marginal values and both consider that an investment plan of tens of millions of euros will be necessary to recover Efacec. The details will be completed in the third round of negotiations.