Green energy company fights for life after getting billions from feds

Abengoa, a renewable energy multinational company headquartered in Spain, has been a favorite of the Obama administration in getting federal tax money for clean energy projects.

Since 2009, Abengoa and its subsidiaries, according to estimates, have received $2.9 billion in grants and loan guarantees through the Department of Energy to undertake solar projects in California and Arizona — as well as the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas.

But in the space of less than a year, Abengoa’s financial health has become critical, leading investors to worry whether the company can survive.

The company’s stock price on NASDAQ has swooned — from $29.32 on Sept. 2, 2014 to $5.62 on Tuesday:

On Aug. 3, the brokerage firm BNP Paribas downgraded Abengoa’s rating from neutral to “Underperform” after the company’s shares dropped 31.76 percent in three months.

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At last week’s close, Abengoa’s high-yield bondholders were scrambling amid concerns over company covenants. This came after news of Abengoa’s plans to increase capital. BloombergBusiness described Abengoa SA as “distressed,” and the company’s troubles are fueling speculation bankruptcy may be in the offing.

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