Norwegian Air asks for more time to pay off bonds

Norwegian Air on Monday asked its bondholders for up to two more years to pay back $380 million of outstanding debt to “ensure successful operations and adequate liquidity headroom.”

Norwegian said in a statement it is “requesting to extend the maturity dates of its two unsecured bonds in exchange of a security package backed by the attractive take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport.”

The company’s NAS07 and NAS08 bonds, which mature in December 2019 and August 2020, would be extended to November 2021 and February 2022 if bondholders accept terms.

A bondholders’ meeting will take place on September 16.

“The company will in exchange offer the unsecured bondholders a security package consisting of a pledge over all shares in Norwegian Air Norway AS (NAN), which will hold the attractive take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport,” added Norwegian.

“Norwegian’s Gatwick portfolio currently consists of take-off and landing slots which has an independent valuation from a well-reputed third-party in excess of the current nominal bond value for NAS07 and NAS08 of USD 380 million.

“These are important operational rights for the Norwegian Group, facilitating the feeding of passengers between our European short-haul network and intercontinental long-haul network, an important part of Norwegian’s profitability strategy going forward.

“Previous transactions in the market demonstrate the ability to monetize on slots at Gatwick.”

DNB Markets, a part of DNB Bank ASA, and Pareto Securities AS have been retained as financial advisers for NAS and BAHR and Wikborg Rein are acting as legal advisers.