Kvaerner Receives Final Approval for Rescue Plan

Kvaerner ASA has won approval from the final group of lenders for a refinancing plan, designed by Aker Maritime ASA that would merge the two companies.

The rescue plan, which secures the survival of the 148-year old Norwegian power-plant builder, was approved by shareholders on December 19, 2001. That same day, Kvaerner reported that four banks out of the total of 46 banks had yet to approve the plan. Now, however, consents have been secured from all creditors that are party to the debt restructuring in the group. Aker Maritime, controlled by multimillionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, has worked to combine with its rival since first buying Kvaerner shares 18 months ago. After Kvaerner said in September it was short on cash, Roekke jockeyed for control of the company with AO Yukos Oil Co.

Kvaerner's rescue plan involves selling 3.5 billion kroner ($394 million) in shares to new and existing shareholders and a 10-year moratorium on 4.5 billion kroner worth of debt. It also includes payments on another 4 billion kroner in loans being postponed by three years.