Chilean court declares salmon producer bankrupt

Editorial Staff

The company employs more than 3,000 people directly and indirectly.

A Chilean judge has declared salmon-farming firm Nova Austral bankrupt.

Judge Pablo Aceituno accepted complaints from two creditors, Comercializadora Nutreco Chile Limitada and Salmonifera Dalcahue Limitada, who alleged unequal and illegal treatment in Nova Austral’s financial reorganization process approved in January 2024, La Prensa Austral reported.

Aceituno stated that the agreement “constitutes deprivation of assets for those affected.” The judge’s resolution orders the opening of a bankruptcy liquidation process and requests the Chilean Superintendence of Insolvency to appoint a liquidator.

Nova Austral had aimed to ensure operational continuity despite financial losses and multiple fines from the Chilean government for environmental infractions. The company is reportedly working with law firm Carey to prepare an appeal against the resolution and a new proposal to negotiate with suppliers.

Nova Austral’s three largest creditors are Nordic Trustee, which has invested $415 million, DNB Bank at $69 million, and Skretting at $23 million. The company owes more than $550 million in total debt.

Employing more than 3,000 people directly and indirectly, Nova Austral has faced regulatory and financial challenges since 2019, when it came under investigation by Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) for underreporting mortalities, leading to criminal charges and fines.

In April 2024, a Chilean court of appeals confirmed the company must pay a fine of CLP 1.02 billion ($1.06 million) for other environmental infractions.

Nova Austral posted a net loss of $32.8 million in Q4 2023, deeper than the $22 million net loss recorded in Q4 2022.


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