Oceanwoodhas drawn up a sales agreement to purchase the entire issued share capital of Norske Skog www.norskeskog.com, one of the main manufacturers of paper for publishing with strong market positions in Europe and Australasia, where Norske Skog is the leader of quite a concentrated market. After an auction process lasting four months, in which more than 100 potential bidders were contacted, Oceanwood, independent investment managing company founded in 2006, with offices in London and Malta, has emerged as the best bidder able to offer the greatest value in money for the inter company loans and shares.
“Our first investment in Norske Skog”, explains John Chiang, consultant for Oceanwood’s investments, “dates back to 2015, and since then we have supported and worked constructively with the group. In November 2017, from the moment when it seemed evident that it would be difficult to reach a consensual solution and resolve the financial problems in the ex-structure of the holding of Norske Skogindustrier, we decided to act to protect the operating companies. Having successfully concluded the auction process, we are really keen to collaborate with the management and employees of Norske Skog. We share the ambition to see the new Norske Skog Group be successful and realise the potential which we believe is inherent in the business, whilst it continues to change and grow”.
The acquisition is subject to obtaining from Oceanwood the relevant antitrust and other authorisations in the countries concerned, including Australia and New Zealand.
“This is one of the most important milestones for the Norske Skog group in the last few years”, declares Sven Ombudstvedt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Norske Skog. “It concludes nearly two years of ceaseless effort to correct the heavily over-exploited capital structure of the Norske Skog Group. Oceanwood’s decision to acquire a majority position and then the decision to start a sales transaction has proved to be the key to resolving the stalemate which was threatening the future of the operating activity”.
In October 2016 the Board of Directors and management of Norske Skogindustrier ASA set up the process of resolution of the unsustainable capital structure with representatives of the secured and unsecured financial creditors. Despite long and constructive negotiations, the creditors and shareholders did not reach any consensual solution for capital restructuring. Norske Skogindustrier ASA’s Board of Directors declared it was insolvent in December 2017.