Spanish fishing giant Grupo Iberconsa is holding formal talks to acquire rival fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing company Nueva Pescanova, Faro de Vigoreported.

This comes as Spanish bank Abanca looks to divest itself of Nueva Pescanova.

In early 2021, Abanca capitalized all bankruptcy debt in Nueva Pescanova after taking a 97 percent stake in the company.

Nueva Pescanova Group approved a debt capitalization of €542.2 million ($587 million) in February that year.

Executives heralded the development as a starting point for overcoming the crippling financial situation that Nueva Pescanova found itself in following its rise from the ashes of the original Pescanova business in 2015.

At the time, the company was burdened by a bankruptcy debt inherited from the old Pescanova company that, despite having been reduced, still amounted to more than €600 million ($650 million), the group said.

As the main creditor, Abanca resorted to voluntary debt capitalization and made the sustainability of Nueva Pescanova possible in both the medium and long term.

Abanca now is reportedly offering a "blank check" to the three investors that are reportedly keen on acquiring Nueva Pescanova, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.

Sources told the newspaper that in exchange the bank is asking for offers for the company of at least €200 million ($215.7 million), plus the €500 million ($539.2 million) debt that the group carries, giving Nueva Pescanova an enterprise value of €700 million ($754.9 million).

In February, it was revealed that Canadian seafood giant Cooke was in talks with Abanca to acquire a stake in the Spanish fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing company.

Then, earlier this month, it was reported California-based seafood giant Red Chamber also joined the race to acquire the company.

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