Creditors Agree to Kvaerner’s Refinancing
Thursday, January 03, 2002
Kvaerner, the international engineering and construction group, announced that consents have now been secured from all creditors that are party to the debt restructuring in the group. The remaining key condition in the overall refinancing of the Kvaerner Group has thereby now been fulfilled. The other key elements in the refinancing scheme, a Directed Offering subscribed at the end of November 2001, and a Rights Offering, to be subscribed later this month, are proceeding according to plan. Formal closing of the debt restructuring and the Directed Offering are expected to take place tomorrow, and the Group’s internal cash pooling system will thereafter be fully operational. “With these financial issues resolved, we can now shift our attention to important structural and operational tasks,” said Helge Lund, who took up his appointment as Kvaerner’s President & CEO on January 1, 2002. “A priority now is the merger of Kvaerner Oil & Gas with Aker Maritime’s core businesses. The combined Company will be one of Europe’s largest oilfield service technology groups. In parallel, we must work to improve operations and increase profit in our other core businesses of E&C [Engineering & Construction], Pulp & Paper, and Shipbuilding,” concluded Lund. Directed Offering – Status: Registration of the Directed Offering in the Norwegian Registry of Business Enterprises is expected to take place immediately following the completion of documentation, at which time the proceeds from the Offering will be made available to Kvaerner. The 250,000,000 new shares are expected to be registered on subscriber accounts with the VPS (The Norwegian Share Registry) and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, early next week. Rights Offering – Status: The subscription period for the Rights Offering will be from January 8–22, 2002 at 4pm, (Norwegian time), both days inclusive. The Rights Offering is expected to be registered in the Company Registry on or around February 4, 2002, with registration on subscribers accounts with the VPS and listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange to take place the following day. Details of the Rights Offering will be explained in a separate Offering circular to be distributed to all shareholders and made publicly available on January 7, 2002. Oil & Gas Merger – Status: All necessary corporate resolutions have been made and the decision to merge the two entities has been registered with the Company Registry. The creditor notice period will elapse in early March 2002, and completion of the Oil & Gas merger is still expected to take place in the middle of March, subject to necessary governmental approvals.