Urbar has already held its first board of directors with its entire new team, since last spring it executed a capital increase that culminated in the refloating of the company after two years under bankruptcy.
The Gipuzkoan engineering company is thus among the 5% of companies that, according to statistics, manage to get out of a bankruptcy and continue with their business after going through a turning point.
The 2008 financial crisis washed away many companies, especially those with the greatest exposure to real estate and construction. And Urbar, specialized in vibration analysis and equipment certification, was one of those who suffered the blow That put the viability of the group in many difficulties.
During the years 2010 to 2013, under the executive chairmanship of Rafael Salama Falabella, a position he left in 2013, the company carried out a series of restructuring measures, mainly aimed at optimizing and reducing operating and personnel expenses.
The financial and operational situation of the group worsened, forcing it to undertake various refinancing between 2014 and 2018. Subsequently, in 2019 it carried out a new refinancing process, but was unable to reach an agreement with the creditors.
As a consequence of this, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy in July 2019. However, the subsequent entry of Rafael Salama, who was returning to the company, and Francisco Martín as reference shareholders, as well as a new group of executives, made a commitment to restore lost credibility with creditors, stabilize activity existing and promote a business plan.
All this allowed ensure the viability of the group and maintain activity and jobs, with the aim of recovering its position in the world of engineering. First, agreements were reached with Banco Santander, the main creditor as heir to the debts contracted with Banco Popular, which together with YakanXXI led the negotiation process on behalf of the creditors, which ended up approving a positive agreement for the Urbar group.
At that time it was determining the attitude of financial creditors, which, in the particular case of Urbar’s bankruptcy process, approved significant cuts in their commitment to maintaining Urbar’s activity and future operations.
Now, after leaving the contest, the company maintains a delicate situation, although it defends having a good base to face the growth plan for the coming years: two profitable and cash-generating lines of activity, a optimized spending structure, reduced debt levels thanks to the deductions obtained, a rebalanced equity structure and the fact of being out of bankruptcy.
For this new stage, Urbar has brought in new shareholders and has appointed a new board, chaired by Francisco Martín Morales de Castilla, a mining engineer with experience in groups such as Duro Felguera, Isolux or TSK.
The current board of directors is completed by Alfonso Recio, with an executive position since April 2021, Rafael Salama, the main shareholder, and, since October this year, Antonio Allona and Juan Ignacio Vitoria as independent directors.
The strategic plan of the new management team aims to position the company “as a benchmark engineering in the field of vibration and certification.” This plan involves enhancing Urbar’s capacity to provide service to the industry, especially in the face of one of the greatest current challenges such as the price of energy.
Urbar also focuses on its experience in vibration testing and supply of specialized equipment, as well as testing and analysis and commissioning of equipment for renewable generation plants, such as solar thermal and wind power plants.