Esther Koplowitz is facing a huge debt challenge, and may lose a substantial part of her 50% stake in Spanish builder FCC, a company founded by her father. Koplowitz’s creditors will not extend the current deadline, and she has 3 months to resolve the debt issue or face a sale of shares. Once Koplowitz deals with her debts, FCC can settle a rights issue, which involves selling shares to existing investors to reduce the need to borrow money.
The deadline for the $1.3 billion has already passed; it was supposed to have been paid on July 31st, but this time, the deadline, in less than a week, won’t be extended. In addition to other problems with the Spanish slowdown, Koplowitz’s income was hit hard when FCC had to stop paying its dividend, and it is likely that the dividend won’t be re-instated until the debt issue is resolved. Koplowitz fell off of Forbes’ Rich List, but she is still one of the wealthiest women in Spain. George Soros and Bill Gates bought shares of FCC in the confidence that the company and Spain would see a turnaround, but the position has been a losing one for both of them.