SOLITAIR, THE SWEDISH-based aircraft leasing company, is planning a new share issue, and refinancing of loans in a bid to resolve a looming financial crisis.

Shareholders are due to vote on the refinancing package on 29 May. Failure to approve the deal could result in almost immediate bankruptcy for the company.

Air Maple, a company controlled by leasing firm GPA, is the largest shareholder, with 25%. Sparbanken, the Swedish bank, is the largest creditor, and also holds 10.7% of the shares through an investment fund, which it administers.

Sparbanken has agreed a SKr1.1 billion ($155 million) five-year credit package if shareholders inject Skr238 million through a new share issue.

In 1994, Solitair, which leases one Boeing 737-300, four 737-400s, one Boeing 757-200 and two McDonnell Douglas MD-80s, recorded losses of SKr62 million. Its problems began in 1990, when it acquired several aircraft when prices were at their peak. Prices and values of aircraft have since fallen, forcing Solitair to write off large debts in the year-end results.

Source: Flight International