Kvaerner To Avoid Bankruptcy This Week

Kvaerner ASA has received a $27.7 million loan that will allow it to stay in business until shareholders vote on a rescue plan Thursday. The loan is the sixth emergency transfer Kvaerner has needed since it said it's close to seeking protection from creditors Sept. 19. Once worth $5 billion, Kvaerner ran into difficulties as debt mounted following a 1997 purchase while revenue declined.

Shareholders will vote on a 7.5 billion-krone rescue backed by Russia's AO Yukos Oil Co. Nov. 29. The plan competes with an offer by Norwegian multimillionaire Kjell Inge Roekke to combine parts of Kvaerner with Aker Maritime ASA, which he controls. Kvaerner, whose market value has plunged to $136 million, already won a 400 million-kroner cash injection from Yukos last week. Yukos is Kvaerner's second-biggest holder with a 22 percent stake. Aker Maritime, a local rival, owns 25 percent.