Chinese-linked interests will hold significant shareholdings in Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian following a debt-to-equity conversion scheme established to shore up the company’s financial position.

Norwegian’s new share capital amounts to nearly 3.07 billion shares following the conversion scheme.

Leasing firm BOC Aviation – which is Singapore-based, but ultimately controlled by Bank of China – has taken 12.67% of Norwegian, after converting lease obligations into more than 389 million shares in the airline.

Neither BOC Aviation nor any of its controlling companies previously held any interest in Norwegian.

Dublin-based lessor Avolon, which is 70%-owned by an indirect subsidiary of China’s Bohai Leasing, is taking nearly 169 million shares – equating to 5.5% of the airline.

One of the largest stakes, some 15.9%, will be held by leasing giant AerCap Holdings, and entities in which the lessor has an interest – including Ballyfin Aviation.

Some of these entities are taking perpetual bonds in Norwegian which, in turn, can be converted into 7.2% of the share capital.

Norwegian has also disclosed that DP Aircraft Ireland will hold just over 5% of the airline. The company is linked to the Guernsey-based holding firm DP Aircraft 1 which specialises in leasing Boeing 787s to customers including Norwegian and Thai Airways International.