Some media reports have presented at somewhat inaccurate description of the actual situation of the Norske Skog group.
Norske Skogindustrier ASA is still a listed company with a separate board elected by the shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting of Norske Skog on 24 August this year. The board of Norske Skogindustrier ASA consists of: Christen Sveaas (Chair), Eilif Due, Jon-Aksel Torgersen, Ragnhild Wiborg and Annette Malm Justad as members elected by shareholders. Employee-elected board members are Cecilie Jonassen, Paul Kristiansen and Svein Erik Veie.
Norske Skogindustrier ASA is the parent company of a group with a complex corporate structure that comprises several subsidiaries, as shown in the attached overview of the company structure.
In Norske Skog AS, which is a subsidiary of the Norske Skogindustrier ASA group, a new board was elected yesterday. Newly elected board members of Norske Skog AS are Sven Ombudstvedt (Chair) and Nils Ingemund Hoff. In addition, Rune Sollie (CFO of Norske Skogindustrier ASA) will remain as board member. Holders of the EUR 290 million bond maturing in 2019 (SSN) have, according to the bond terms, the right to elect a new board of Norske Skog AS, as this bond is in default and has been accelerated and declared payable immediately in its entirety. The EUR 290 million bond has security against inter alia the shares of Norske Skog AS.
The SSN have so far not taken possession of the pledged security in the shares of Norske Skog AS, and this company is still owned by the Norske Skogindustrier ASA group. Taking possession of the pledged securities will be a complicated and unpredictable process for all involved parties. All factories and sales companies are direct subsidiaries of Norske Skog AS, and they are therefore still part of the Norske Skogindustrier ASA group. The operational activities of all subsidiaries of Norske Skog AS, which also include the groups 7 mills, will continue as normal regardless of the appointment of the new board members.
The board of Norske Skogindustrier ASA is currently working on preparing a recapitalization proposal for the entire group, and is in dialogue with both the secured creditors and the group’s other stakeholder groups. The board of directors of Norske Skogindustrier ASA intends to release as soon as possible and latest on Monday 18 September, a recapitalization proposal that the creditors must vote on within a ten-day offer period.
The board’s intended purpose in proposing an industrial refinancing is to significantly reduce current debt and interest costs in order to ensure a long-term and sustainable capital structure for the Norske Skogindustrier ASA group.