Crisis at Kvaerner

Kvaerner PLC is continuing negotiations with its creditor banks in order to avert bankruptcy. The banks have put forward a rescue plan which entails converting part of Kvaerner’s debt into equity and giving it access to a USD 56.7 million short-term loan to cover its immediate cash shortfall. The banks are also taking part in Kvaerner’s planned rights issue. They have also agreed to offer Kvaerner an extra day to conclude negotiations. The plan allows Kvaerner to turn down a funding offer from Russia’s Yukos Oil, its largest shareholder. “We are not dismissive of Yukos’ offer, but we recognise the need for a long-term solution rather than a short-term one,” said a Kvaerner spokesman.
Aker Maritime is understood to have proposed its own plan. Aker, which is Kvaerner’s second-largest shareholder, wanted the banks to write off NOK 4 billionn in debt under a radical proposal that would have given Mr Rokke control with 45& at a very cheap price, according to people familiar with the talks. “I don’t think that was ever going to fly,” said one. Kvaerner revealed it would take NOK 2.8 billion in write-downs during the third quarter due to re-assessment of book values, resulting in a net loss of NOK 4.2 billion for the quarter.

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