Advisors appointed on Norske Skog debt talks

Bondholder GSO Capital is also said to be working on a proposal to reduce the €1 billion debt pile of the Norwegian papermaker.

Rothschild, Houlihan Lokey and Akin Gump are working on the potential restructuring of roughly €1 billion in debt owed by Norske Skogindustrier ASA, a Norwegian pulp and paper company based in Oslo.

Rothschild is acting as financial adviser to an ad hoc group of senior secured bondholders due 2019 in relation to outstanding debt at Norske Skog, while Houlihan Lokey is conducting a review of Norske Skog’s debt structure, CapitalStructure reported. Law firm Akin Gump also confirmed that it has been engaged by the group of senior secured noteholders.

The private debt arm of Blackstone, GSO Capital Partners, is also said to be a holder of debt and working on proposals to reduce the papermaker’s €1 billion in debt, Bloomberg reported. The appointment of Houlihan Lokey came after bondholders approached management about reviewing debt maturities, it said.

A spokesman for Norske Skog told PDI: “We have an open dialogue with all investors. Maturities were extended and liquidity significantly improved in the recent refinancing of the group. We have always paid our obligations at maturity, and we intend to do so in the future.”

Norske Skog will release its third quarter results on the 23 October, he added.

Houlihan Lokey and GSO Capital declined to comment. Rothschild were not available for comment at time of publication.

Norske Skog is financed through bonds, according to its website. The firm has issued US dollar-denominated bonds of which $38 million is due in October 2015, $61 million in February 2023, $95 million in October 2033; and Euro-denominated bonds of which €108 million is due in June 2016, €212 million in June 2017, €290 million in December 2019 and €159 million in February 2021.