Spain's Martinsa Fadesa eyes 23 pct staff cut

MADRID, July 15 Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:26pm BST

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MADRID, July 15 (Reuters) - Troubled Spanish property company Martinsa Fadesa (MFAD.MC) is in talks with unions to cut almost a quarter of its 880-strong workforce, a union source said Tuesday.

"Martinsa Fadesa's board is still in talks with union representatives from the construction sector. The layoffs could affect some 200 people," the source said.

On Monday, Martinsa Fadesa said it would file for administration after it failed to raise funds and meet debt payments, marking one of the biggest corporate failures in Spain's history.

In June, a Martinsa Fadesa official said the company was negotiating to reduce staff due to the worsening property crisis, but did not provide figures for the planned layoffs.

Martinsa Fadesa, with 5.4 billion euros ($8.62 billion) of debt, said it requested administration after its failure last week to raise a 150 million euro loan -- a requisite of 4 billion euro refinancing agreement earlier this year.

The Spanish property market has slumped this year after a decade-long boom during which house prices tripled thanks to cheap credit and rampant construction. (Reporting by Clara Vilar; Editing by Paul Bolding)