September 26, 2017 / 4:30 PM / in a year

Abengoa's sugar unit in Brazil files for bankruptcy protection

SAO PAULO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Abengoa Bioenergia Brasil, the Brazilian sugar and ethanol arm of struggling Spanish conglomerate Abengoa SA, said on Tuesday it had filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company, which operates two mills, said in an emailed statement that it had tried unsuccessfully for the last 19 months to find investors with fresh capital to keep its operations running.

“Brazil’s current economic and political crisis, along with the 40 percent drop in sugar prices, led investors showing initial interest in the company to flee,” the company said in the statement.

More than 50 sugar mills are currently under bankruptcy protection in Brazil, a result of low sugar and ethanol prices in the first half of the decade. Prices improved during a global sugar deficit in 2015 and 2016, but have fallen again this year. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Paul Simao)

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