Buenos Aires, December 6, 2019. Rosario city and the entire grain value chain was shocked after the announcement made by the grain company Vicentin about the delay of its financial debt, in search for a rescheduling. The weak situation of the company is the object of many speculations. For example, their partner in Renova (the world’s largest soybean crushing complex), Glencore, could step in and rescue Vicentin.
But there are other versions. Vicentin has an enormous debt, most of it with the Argentine official bank system. By October, the company held a bank debt of AR$ 24,000 million (around USD 400 million), 78% of them with the Banco de la Nación Argentina, and 7% with the Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires.
In comparison with other similar companies, the debt profile of Vicentin is highly particular. For instance, Aceitera General Deheza maintains a bank debt of around AR$ 5,600 million to the same date, most of it with a private bank. Even the bank debt of the Asociación de Cooperativas Argentinas is smaller (AR$ 9,600 million) and it was not taken from the official bank in the same proportion, while the global Bunge maintains a bank liability of around AR$ 8,400 million.
Furthermore, it is said that one million tons of grains were delivered by a local company, a volume that entered in this virtual default.
Both facts could lead to the following possibility: considering that a new Peronist government is about to take office and that for Santa Fe province, also ruled by the Peronist party, the default of Vicentin would be a tragedy, the conclusion is that by means of the National Bank and with the support of this large creditor, the Government could take control of the company.
Vicentin is a very attractive company due to its valuable assets, involving not only soybean crushing plants, but also meatpackers, feedlot farms, cotton industries, and biodiesel and ethanol plants. The presence of the state in this business could be attractive for the incoming government.