The High Court has approved a survival plan for the troubled Norwegian Air airline and related companies.
In a written decision Mr Justice Michael Quinn said he was satisfied to approve the scheme put together by the airline’s examiner Mr Kieran Wallace of KPMG.
The airline’s Oslo-based parent company and several of its Irish registered subsidiaries had sought the protection of the Irish courts due to factors including the devastating impact that the covid-10 pandemic has had on the airline industry and international travel.
The group, the court heard had accumulated debts of $5.2 billion (€4.3 billion).
In his judgment, Mr Justice Quinn said after analysing the evidence put before the court by the examiner said he was satisfied that if the rescue proposals are confirmed and implemented, the restructuring achieved will facilitate the ongoing survival of the companies as going concerns.
The proposals, he added, “achieve for members, creditors and others, including employees, an outcome more favourable than would arise if the companies were wound up.”
The judge noted that the survival plan been approved by the members of each of the companies within the group and by at least one class of creditors.
The court said that there was no suggestion that the sole or primary purpose of the proposals is the avoidance of payment of tax due or that the proposals have been put forward for any improper purpose.
The proposals are fair and equitable in relation to each class of creditors which has not accepted the proposals and whose interests or claims would be impaired by implementation.
They are not unfairly prejudicial to the interests of any interested party, he said.
“The evidence of the examiner, which has not been contested, is that he is confident that the investment required to implement the proposals can be secured such that the purpose of the proposals can be achieved,” he added.
The judge added that “unusually, the court is being asked to confirm the proposals in circumstances where a series of further steps need to be implemented, including, most critically, the raising of the funds necessary to implement the proposals.”
He said that examiner, based on his account of his engagement with the companies, with certain significant investors, and the evidence of the support for the investment by the government of Norway, and the support of members and creditors, would be able to secure the level of investment required.
The judge added that he was also satisfied of the viability of the companies going forward.
In all the circumstances the court was satisfied to approve the scheme of arrangement.