EconomyUnifin: The story of a company that got into...

Unifin: The story of a company that got into debt and seeks to restructure

The tenant company Unifin surprised locals and strangers on August 8 last by announcing that it stopped paying interest and capital on its debt, as well as the start of a restructuring process, for which it was already negotiating with creditors.

Until the second quarter of the year, it had profits of 35 million pesos, but it could not meet its obligations and its finances will be led by .

What is Unifin and who owns it?

Unifin is registered with the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) as a non-regulated Multiple Purpose Financial Company (Sofom).

Dedicated to leasing, the granting of car loans and fleet management, Unifin also provides financing to SMEs. He has more than 29 years in the Mexican financial sector and since 2015 has been listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV).

The leases are for all types of machinery and equipment such as transport vehicles including cars, trucks, helicopters, planes and boats, according to the company.

Rodrigo Lebois Mateos is the founder of the firm and current Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is responsible for carrying out the restructuring of the company.

Sergio Camacho Carmona is the general director and Sergio Cancino Rodríguez is the director of Administration and Finance.

Non-payment of interest and debt capital

In March 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic, Unifin made an alliance with Google to launch its digital platform that sought to provide financing to SMEs. The platform is called Uniclick and in the last two years it has signed alliances with organizations such as Concamin and other startups such as Mambu.

Uniclick even declared in a statement the possibility of becoming a unicorn company, that is, a firm with a value of over 1,000 million dollars.

Fifteen days later and after the federal government’s announcement of the national “Healthy Distance” day, Unifin announced measures to protect the business such as a corporate remote work plan for employees, as well as the reduction of lines of credit. At the time, the firm said they were working with local banks to extend their lines of credit to help ensure business continuity.

The company’s shareholders agreed to increase their capital by 2,520 million pesos by issuing 140 million shares at a price of 18 pesos per paper in June of that year. The goal was to overcome the crisis and serve Mexican companies.

The firm announced in January 2021 the contracting of three loans that together amounted to 7,400 million pesos . The first was for 4,000 million for a term of 30 years with development banks (Bancomext) and two loans of 3,400 million with private banks.

It also made an offer of debt securities in bonds for 400 million dollars , the annual rate of this financing was 9.875% and the money, according to the company, would be used in the payment of liabilities and the rest in “corporate purposes”. “.

Unifin reported that it requested another loan —in May—, this time with Citibanamex , and the extension of its line of credit with Bancomext .

With the private bank, the debt was 3,000 million pesos over eight years and with Bancomext for 1,000 million . He also reported a $ 44 million syndicated loan with Nomura . The company said that this money would serve to continue financing Mexican SMEs, a sector that was diminished in the pandemic.

A month later, in June 2021, Unifin boasted its ability to access new sources of financing, now it did so through a $67.5 million unsecured syndicated loan with Barclays as lead structuring agent.

Unifin contracted a second credit of this type, in September, for 100 million dollars with Bladex , with a term of three years. “The resources obtained will be used to support Unifin’s growth and optimize its maturity profiles, strengthening its financial position,” he said at the time. Not even a week had passed when the company announced another unsecured financing for $45 million over five years.

The latter was achieved thanks to an investment fund called the Eco-business Fund . The money would be used to promote responsible environmental and social practices in Mexico’s SMEs.

Unifin reported last January that it created a new position for its digital transformation division and Fernando Jesús Boza González, former leader in banks such as Sabadell, Banorte, Santander, BBVA and Caja Madrid, was the one who assumed responsibility. The goal was to consolidate the growth of digital platforms.

Four new lines of credit were also opened for 2,700 million pesos. One with ResponsAbility Investments and with Proparco, the purpose was to finance clean energy projects.

For May, the financing was carried out by Credit Suisse in the Cayman Islands and for an amount of 500 million dollars. The money would be used for debt restructuring and “corporate purposes.”

Unifin shares plunge

After it became known that the company was entering a restructuring period and that it would not be able to meet its obligations, the shares plummeted more than 80%. The firm erased 5,159 million pesos in market value to be left with a capitalization of 1,165 million pesos.

At the beginning of 2022, Unifin shares cost 38 pesos and at the end of this Wednesday they had a price of 3.05 pesos, according to Yahoo Finance.

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