Blackstone, Cyrus Give Norske Skog $130 Million to Stay Afloatby
Blackstone Group LP’s GSO Capital Partners and Cyrus Capital Partners provided about $130 million to Norske Skogindustrier ASA to keep the paper maker afloat.
The funds injected 142 million kroner ($17 million) of new capital and provided as much as 100 million euros ($113 million) under a new securitization facility backed by receivables, inventories and certain bank accounts, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
Norske Skog has been trying to restructure its debt since September. Competing proposals by different groups of creditors blocked previous attempts to postpone payment of bonds due in 2016 and 2017. The proceeds of the securitization, which will replace existing agreements with SpareBank1 Gruppen Finans AS, will be used to fund working capital expenses and other operational liquidity needs for the group’s paper mills.
GSO and Cyrus increased their stakes in Norske Skog to 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, following the capital injection, according to two separate statements. Other shareholders will be given the chance to subscribe to shares in a repair offering, Norske Skog said in its statement.
Norske Skog needs to restructure about $1 billion of debt after its revenue plummeted along with readership of newspapers and magazines. Its debt exchange proposals had divided investors, with secured bondholders including BlueCrest Capital Management, Marathon Asset Management and Sampo Oyj lining up in opposition to GSO and Cyrus.