The loan from US venture capital firm Apollo Global Management is an important basis for SAS in a debt restructuring that has continued since the airline filed for bankruptcy protection in the US in July.
“With the court’s approval of our DIP funding, we are taking an important step forward in the Chapter 11 process,” SAS CEO Anko van der Werff says in a press release.
Thousands of refund claims still exist
However, the judge in the case, Michael Wales, is very skeptical about certain parts of the loan agreement and is therefore asking SAS’s lawyers to review and amend some points over the weekend, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reported.
The loan is divided into two installments, and the loan agreement gives Apollo the right to convert the loan into shares in SAS and may also mean that Apollo may participate in a potential new share issue when SAS finalizes in the future ongoing debt restructuring under American bankruptcy protection.
In his hearing of SAS lawyers and the bank officials behind the scheme, the judge asked, among other things, whether the scheme could intimidate potential SAS bidders and thus prevent a better financial solution for the company’s lenders.
At the same time, it is now clear that the airline must reimburse Norwegian customers who have not yet received their money after canceled flights in connection with the summer air strikes, Aftenposten reports, by September 15 at the latest. .
On August 21, a month after the strike ended, there were still about 8,000 of the total of about 85,000 Norwegian recovery claims received.
As a result of the large number of cases and the fact that the company has taken several measures to deal with the situation, the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority has decided not to penalize SAS. However, it has been emphasized that September 15th should be considered as a strict deadline for payments.
In recent years, SAS has suffered a series of financial setbacks, which in early July led the company to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States, the so-called Chapter 11 proceeding.
Anko van der Werff’s savings plan launched last spring called “SAS Forward” suffered a serious financial setback from this summer’s flight strike, forcing the airline to cancel 3,700 flights in the middle of the high season. It is estimated that the strike cost the SAS around SEK 1.5 billion.
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