A group of shareholders have reportedly taken control of debt-ridden Spanish fish and seafood manufacturer Pescanova.

According to The Financial Times, investors led by Catalan brewing company Damm – Pescanova’s second-largest shareholder with a 5.84% stake – won a victory last week to replace the group’s former chairman and appoint new directors.

Veteran banker Juan Manuel Urgoiti, who sits on the board of clothing group Inditex, has been appointed as the company’s new non-executive chairman, the publication noted. Other directors now include Luis Angel Sanchez-Merlo, independent director of Spain’s Sarebbank, and Alejandro Legarda, according to Spanish online publication FIS.

Urgoiti told another Spanish publication, Cinco Dias, that “banks will be the key players from this moment.”

“Although we have not devised a financial plan yet, the guidelines are very clear.” He warned that the company needs a reduction on the creditors’ covenant of around 70%.

Pescanova, which employs around 10,000 staff globally, is seeking to renegotiate previously hidden debts of EUR3.6bn with its lenders. The firm filed for voluntary insolvency in April after having failed to reach an agreement with creditors on the renegotiation of its debts.

Trading in Pescanova’s shares were suspended on 12 March.

Damm’s proposal for the board won 70.8% of the votes of the investors present, or 37% of the total outstanding shares, the FT noted.

US-based Cartesian Capital, which holds 5% in Pescanova, objected to previous board members who represented Damm, and other shareholders Luxemparc and Iberformento, being re-elected, the FT reported.

The company argued directors with no connection to the company were required, proposing Baldomero Falcones, former chief executive of the construction company FCC, as a candidate for chairman.

Former Pescanova chairman Manuel Fernández de Sousa also proposed at the meeting that the current board, including himself, should remain in place. This, however, was voted down at the meeting in Galicia.