Norwegian Air’s debt plan sharply dilutes stake of current owners

OSLO: Norwegian Air’s (NWC.OL) proposed financial rescue plan could leave current shareholders with a combined ownership stake of just 5.2%, details of its proposed debt-to-equity swap showed on Monday.

If approved by bondholders, leasing companies and shareholders, the plan could help Norwegian survive the coronavirus outbreak, which has grounded 95% of its fleet, with just 7 aircraft left in operation.

The company aims to gradually emerge from the crisis, with a return to normal operations in 2022, it said in a presentation to investors.

The plan requires backing from bondholders in each one of four separate votes planned for April 30, as well as from leasing firms, and from shareholders in an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for May 4.

If approved, the move would allow Norwegian to tap government guarantees of up to 3 billion crowns ($283 million), which are dependent on the company reducing its ratio of debt to equity.

Source: Reuters, Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Victoria Klesty


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