Corona-stricken Norwegian announced on Wednesday that they are leaving bankruptcy protection. “We saved the airline,” the CEO said.
“Today, we have written history, not only Norwegian’s and aviation history, but also Norway’s,” Norwegian’s CEO Jacob Schram said.
He was relieved and optimistic when he met the press at Fornebu outside Oslo on Wednesday morning.
“We saved an airline that has enormous value for Norway, and that unites this elongated country together from north to south,” Schram said.
In a stock exchange announcement on Wednesday, the company stated that it is leaving bankruptcy protection and that the capital-raising process launched in order to save the company is now over.
Intense six months
A good part of the fresh money that now enters the company comes from the issuance of new shares. From Thursday, there will be over 700 million listed shares in Norwegian – compared to the current 42 million.
Norwegian’s CFO Geir Karlsen says that the last year and especially the last six months have been an intense period.
“We have negotiated with 30-40 large banks and several thousand creditors,” he said.
Karlsen said that the company had three main goals in the reconstruction process.
“The first thing has been to survive. Flexibility has also been important so that we can build up the company as the corona situation becomes more manageable. Thirdly, we wanted the company to be even more competitive than before the pandemic.”
Approved by courts in Ireland and Norway
With fresh funding from, among others, billionaire John Fredriksen and several other well-known investors on the list of Norwegian’s new major owners, the company will also meet the restructuring requirements from Irish and Norwegian courts.
That will again trigger the government hybrid loan that Norwegian was promised in the crisis package from the government this winter.
Thus, the company believes that the year-long fight to avoid a thundering bankruptcy with tens of billions of debt is now done. Going forward, the significantly slimmer airline will concentrate operations on domestic traffic and routes between Norway and destinations in Europe.
Norwegian shares rose significantly on Wednesday morning and were up around 23% in the wake of the press conference.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance
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