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Abengoa asks U.S. court to prevent lawsuits by rebel creditors

| CHICAGO

CHICAGO Nov 21 Spanish renewable energy and engineering firm Abengoa SA has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to enjoin legal action and future claims by creditors who are unsatisfied with a high-stakes plan to restructure $10 billion of debt.

Abengoa, a Sevilla-based company with a global renewable energy footprint, put its U.S. subsidiaries in Chapter 11 protection this year and filed for Chapter 15 protection from creditors of non-U.S. businesses while it thrashed out a refinancing deal to avoid becoming Spain's largest-ever corporate failure.

Last month the vast majority of Abengoa's international creditors signed on to its so-called master restructuring agreement, which will give creditors equity in exchange for debt. The deal was approved by a Spanish court on Nov. 8.

In a court filing, Abengoa asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey to validate the refinancing deal in the United States and to permanently prohibit U.S. creditors from filing any lawsuits against the agreement.

"Such relief will ensure that the carefully negotiated master restructuring agreement is successfully implemented without any undue interference in the United States," Abengoa said in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Abengoa also asked the U.S. court to exempt it from having to register shares that will be issued under its restructuring deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Carey is overseeing Abengoa's Chapter 15 case as well as the bankruptcy of its main U.S. unit, Abeinsa Holding Inc.

Last week, Carey denied a request for an independent fraud investigation of Abengoa by some of Abeinsa's creditors, who have said in court filings that the parent drained its foreign businesses of cash and assets, leaving them bankrupt.

One Abeinsa creditor, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co, which helped finance the construction of Abengoa's Mojave solar plant, was seeking an investigation into the company's 2014 transfer of the solar plant to its prized Atlantica Yield subsidiary.

Abengoa borrowed heavily to finance an aggressive international expansion into renewable energy. Last week it posted a nine-month net loss of 5.4 billion euros ($5.74 billion). ($1 = 0.9402 euro) (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski, editing by G Crosse)

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