The ongoing rescue process for Norwegian forest products firm Norske Skog has been characterized by “aggressive” and “extremely cynical” creditors. CEO Lars Sperre talked about the fight to save the company at a recent business conference in Oslo.
“Our capital structure was complex and had some of the most aggressive professional investors that can be found,” Sperre told lawyers, advisers and business owners attending the Norsk Restruktureringsforum. “These are powerful investors who can be part of finding good solutions, but they are also extremely cynical when it comes to their own returns.”
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported on the presentation offered by Sperre, who said he believes many of the creditors did not behave rationally and did not seem aware of the crisis the company was facing.
“For us, there was a real danger that the entire company would collapse as a result of liquidity challenges,” Sperre said. Those challenges were later addressed through a new loan.
Norske Skog was portrayed as an example of an unsuccessful restructuring, since the stocklisted company ended up filing bankruptcy just before Christmas. The company is profiting on operations, which have continued, but has been burdened by heavy debt from major international expansion. It’s currently in the process of being sold to the highest bidder, one of whom is Norwegian industrialist Jens Ulltveit-Moe.