NEW YORK – May 26, 2021 – Seabury Securities LLC, the wholly-owned investment banking arm of Seabury Capital Group LLC (collectively, “Seabury Capital”) announced today that the company has advised Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (“Norwegian”), the leading European Nordics low-cost carrier, in its successful multi-jurisdiction financial restructuring in Ireland, Norway, and in the United States of America as Lead Financial Restructuring Adviser.
Seabury Capital has also advised the airline as financial advisor in the airline’s NOK 6 billion (~US$720 million) capital raise alongside DNB Bank ASA and ABG Sundal Collier ASA.
As a consequence of the COVID 19 pandemic, Norwegian started significant financial restructuring in Spring 2020. In May 2020, Norwegian achieved an express 2 months out of court restructuring of its leases and bonds. This led to a ~NOK 10 billion of debt-to-equity swap and raised NOK 3 billion of debt from the Norwegian Government. Seabury advised then Norwegian in its aircraft leases restructuring.
In November 2020, the Government of Norway announced they would not support a second capital injection without further restructuring of the airline. With the support of Seabury as Lead Financial Restructuring Advisor, BAHR AS, as lead Counsel, and Matheson, as Irish counsel, Norwegian entered an Irish Examinership (the Irish version of U.S. Chapter 11) with Mr. Kieran Wallace from KPMG as Examiner. In December 2020, Norwegian entered a Norwegian Reconstruction process as well under the leadership of Mr. Havard Wiker, from Ro Sommernes, as Reconstructor.
After support to the process provided by Norwegian’s shareholders and creditors, judgements validating the successful Irish Examinership and Norwegian Reconstruction was passed in February and March 2020 subject to a minimum recapitalization of NOK 4.5 billion. A U.S. recognition of those judgement through a U.S. Chapter 15 process has also been undertaken.
Norwegian has successfully closed today a NOK 6 billion capital raise, comprised of NOK 1,875 million of a convertible perpetual bond, NOK 395 million right issue and the rest as private placement including a series of strategic Nordic investors.
Norwegian is now emerging out of two court process as a much stronger airline, with a simpler business model, strong balance sheet and lower and flexible cost base. Norwegian will now focus on narrow body aircraft flying out of the Nordics with a fleet starting at 51 Boeing 737NG aircraft but aiming to grow in 2022 to 70 aircraft. During this process, the airline has reduced its liabilities in excess of NOK 60 billion and rejected aircraft orders with Airbus and Boeing worth NOK 85 billion.
“The successful emergence of Norwegian from a very complex and innovative multi-jurisdiction court process coupled with the remarkable NOK 6 billion capital raise is an outstanding result only possible thanks to the prolonged and exceptional work of the airline’s management and its advisors. Seabury Securities is very proud to have contributed to this success,” commented Alexis Fekete, Managing Director of Seabury Securities.
Michael B. Cox, Senior Managing Director of Seabury Securities, attributed “this success to courageous measures taken by management to adjust the airline strategy and a balanced approach to obtain the support of creditors, especially the aircraft financing community which has supported the airline during the entire Covid-19 pandemic.”
Geir Karlsen, Norwegian’s Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, remarked: “Since April 2020, Seabury Securities has played a pivotal role as restructuring, financial, and industry advisor to Norwegian; especially as it relates to the overall restructuring process and fleet advisory and negotiations.”
For details on the restructuring, visit https://www.norwegian.com/uk/about/company/investor-relations/