Norwegian has disclosed its plan to issue a NKr1.3 billion ($168 million) private placement of new shares in order to strengthen its "capital buffer against currency fluctuations and unstable markets".

The deal will comprise the private placement of Norwegian share capital via two tranches. The first tranche will consist of some 2.95 million new shares in the airline, roughly 8.25% of share capital. The second tranche will be made up of the number of new shares that brings the transaction up to NKr1.3 billion.

Norwegian expects the first tranche to settle on 23 March, and the second to close shortly after board approval on 4 April.

Arctic Securities, Carnegie, Danske Bank and Pareto Securities have been mandated as joint lead managers.

The issuance will be marketed to existing shareholders and other Norwegian and international investors.

HBK Holdings – Norwegian's largest shareholder, owning (directly and indirectly) approximately 26.4% of the current share capital – has pre-subscribed for its pro-rata share of the private placement, the airline says.

Norwegian says its board "is of the opinion that the private placement will allow for the company to raise capital more quickly and at a lower discount compared to a rights issue" and believes that "in the current market, a private placement has a larger possibility of success compared to a rights issue".

A further offering may occur in May, the airline adds.

Source: Cirium Dashboard