Limerick-headquartered aircraft lessor Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) is still mulling restructuring options and has lined up a PWC executive to handle a possible examinership process in Ireland.
The company – the world’s largest lessor of regional aircraft – has been hit hard by the Covid pandemic and has been trying to juggle a $6bn (€5bn) debt pile.
The Irish Independent understands that NAC remains locked in talks with its creditors – there are close to 100 of them – ahead of the expiration of a September 20 forbearance extension secured earlier in the year to a debt agreement inked last year.
It’s understood that those talks continue to be productive. NAC declined to comment when contacted.
The Irish Independent first revealed in March that NAC was considering restructuring options including Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States for some of its units there.
However, it’s almost certain that while options including examinership remain on the table, the most favoured outcome would be to strike a deal with creditors without having to avail of them.
It’s believed that an examinership process in Ireland – if it were to proceed – would be handled by PwC’s Declan McDonald.
NAC, which has a fleet of almost 500 turboprop and jet aircraft, has continued to place planes with customers amid a revival in air travel.
Last year, the lessor successfully completed a scheme of arrangement, with shareholders including a vehicle controlled by the family that owns Lego agreeing to inject $60m (€50m) into the company.
The scheme also secured agreement from lenders for a standstill and deferral agreement that covered tens of millions of dollars of certain interest and principal payments that were due over the following months on its $6bn in debt.
The scheme enabled NAC to defer its principal payments for nine months and interest payments on aircraft financing for five months. Interest payments on other term loans could be deferred for about 17 months. It also extended the maturity of each of the loans for an additional 12 months from the original scheduled maturity date.
Nordic Aviation Capital is headed by Patrick de Castelbajac. He’s a former chief executive of plane maker ATR, a joint venture between Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo.