The European competition authority has approved the proposed acquisition of indirect sole control in Norske Skog by Blackstone, an American private equity firm.
According to Norske Skog, the acquisition of indirect sole control is a consequence of the ongoing debt restructuring under the current exchange offer for the outstanding €121.4m 11.75% senior notes due 2016 and €218.1m 7.00% senior notes due 2017. GSO had already accepted the exchange offer launched by Norske Skog and, in the case that the exchange offers and consent solicitations are successful, will see its shareholding in the company rise further.
Blackstone does not have to acquire a majority stake to gain control of Norske Skog. According to a 35-40% historical attendance on the annual general meeting, a company needed about 20-25% of the outstanding shares to effectively control the annual general meeting, a Norske Skog spokesperson explained in early February.