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Last Updated : Nov 06, 2019 09:47 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Norwegian Air raises $272 mn from share sale, bond issue

With mounting debts and suffering from the grounding of its 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Norwegian has replaced breakneck expansion with cost cutting to regain profitability.

Representative Image
Representative Image

To meet the struggling airline's cash needs through 2020 with its third share sale in two years and a bond issue. Struggling Norwegian Air raised 2.5 billion crowns (£211.59 million).

Company sold 27.25 million new shares at 40 crowns per share in a private placement, a 13 percent discount to Tuesday's closing price. It also raised $150 million via convertible bond issue, the airline said.

With mounting debts and suffering from the grounding of its 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Norwegian has replaced breakneck expansion with cost cutting to regain profitability.

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The company also announced a deal with a Chinese firm in October to offload 27 new Airbus planes to ease pressure on its finances and avoid becoming the latest airline to collapse.

"The private placement received significant interest from both existing shareholders in the company and new high-quality investors. The convertible bond issue received significant interest from international and domestic investors," it said.

In a statement after the stock market closed, Europe's third-largest budget airline by passenger numbers said the transactions would fully fund it "through 2020 and beyond based on the current business plan."

"The proceeds ... will secure required financing of working capital during the winter season and create headroom to financial covenants while completing the strategic transformation of the company," it said.

The airline also reported monthly figures showing passenger traffic declined in October from a year ago, the first such fall on record as the carrier cut loss-making routes from its network. The data had been scheduled for release on Wednesday.

Overall traffic, a measure of distance flown and the number of people carried (RPK), fell 3% year on year in October, the company said. Analysts in a Reuters poll on average had expected a fall of 12.1 percent.

Norwegian's RPK had until now risen every month since it was first listed on the Oslo Bourse in 2003, its records show.

Trimming capacity at a rate of 5 percent year on year helped it fill aircraft, raising the so-called load factor to 87.1 percent from 85.0 percent in October 2018, in line with a Reuters poll.

Its yield, or income per passenger carried and kilometre flown, rose to 0.40 crown in October from 0.38 crown a year ago, also in line with expectations.

(With Reuters inputs)

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First Published on Nov 6, 2019 09:35 am
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