Aerospace & Defense

Norwegian Air raises fresh capital, set to exit restructuring

3 minute read

A Norwegian Air plane is refuelled at Oslo Gardermoen airport, Norway November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Lefteris Karagiannopoulos

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
  • Airline raises NOK 6 bln in fresh capital, as planned
  • Company set to emerge from restructuring process on May 26
  • Private placement, rights issue oversubscribed

OSLO, May 21 (Reuters) - Norwegian Air (NORR.OL) is set to exit its restructuring process next week after raising the 6 billion Norwegian crowns ($714 million) it targeted through the sale of perpetual bonds, new shares and a rights issue, the company said on Friday.

Financed largely by debt, Norwegian Air grew rapidly, serving routes across Europe and flying to North and South America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East before the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the budget airline into crisis.

Courts in Ireland and Norway had demanded the airline raise at least 4.5 billion crowns as part of a scheme to emerge from bankruptcy protection in the two countries on May 26.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

The private placement of new shares raised 3.73 billion crowns and was "significantly oversubscribed", the firm said in a statement.

The perpetual bond sale added 1.88 billion crowns from current creditors, while the rights issue to existing shareholders was oversubscribed and the final results are to be settled on May 25, the company said.

The courts in Oslo and Dublin last month gave their approval for Norwegian to sharply cut its debt by converting it to stock so long as it raised the 4.5 billion crowns.

With the pandemic still curbing travel, the company then decided to try and raise an additional 1.5 billion crowns to bolster resources as it exits the restructuring process it began last December.

The survival plan brings an end to Norwegian's long-haul business, leaving a slimmed-down carrier focusing on Nordic and European routes.

But Europe's airline industry faces a second summer holiday travel season hampered by travel restrictions and uncertainty.

Travel companies including EasyJet (EZJ.L), TUI Cruises and IAG (ICAG.L) have sold bonds to boost their balance sheets or refinance debt. read more

Ryanair (RYA.I), Europe's largest low-cost airline, raised 1.2 billion euros in a five-year bond sale on Tuesday.

DNB, ABG Sundal Collier, and Seabury Securities LTD advised Norwegian Air on the capital raise.

($1 = 8.4025 Norwegian crowns)

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Victoria Klesty, editing by Louise Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters