The offer came after the two parties began negotiating. However, it was flatly rejected by Solstad's board of directors.
Solstad's board writes about the proposal in a letter to shareholders. There, the board gives a comprehensive explanation of the rescue agreement that is at the heart of the dispute between billionaires Kristin Svejas and Engie Rucki's agent.
Solstad announced on Tuesday that the first part of the disputed agreement to settle the debt had been completed.
In the letter, Solstad's board refutes criticism from the Sveaas camp and defends the deal, but also provides some new information about the process.
“The company recently, more than two months after announcing the refinancing, received an indicative offer from a group of shareholders to acquire shares in… Borrower groupBorrower groupThe agreement means that Solstad is divided into two parts, with the borrower group consisting of the new Solstad. In the agreement with Aker, Solstad was valued at a new $1.5 billion before funds from the capital raising. at a valuation higher than that resulting from the refinancing,” the board wrote.
Solstad: – He didn't let himself out
The agreement with Aker and the banks, which refinances $11.4 billion in debt and adds $4 billion in new equity, was announced on October 23.
This means that the offer came to the table sometime after Christmas Eve. The two parties have been conducting negotiations since December 18 of last year. But the offer was rejected by the council.
Read on E24+
Solstad's board letter hints at $1 billion gains
E24 asked Solstad Offshore CEO Lars Peder Solstad about the size of the share offer and who is part of the shareholder group.
He doesn't want to say anything about that and refers to the shareholder letter, but he says the following:
The point is that it was only a partial solution. It was not a complete solution that came. It cannot be implemented.
The solution itself addresses only fairness. It does not address other elements that the company should have put in place.
– The company had to have a comprehensive solution, but it did not represent this proposal, says Solstad.
The board points out in the letter that the offer did not include a solution to refinance debt worth NOK 11.4 billion, nor a claim related to the ship Norman Maximus worth NOK 1.8 billion.
Aker boss on Solstad dispute: – No one would have benefited from bankruptcy
This alone meant it was not a “feasible alternative refinancing,” the board writes.
“In other words, even two months after the refinancing was announced, no other shareholders have come up with an alternative solution that solves the problems Maximus demandedMaximus demandedThe claim relates to the ship Norman Maximus, valued at NOK 1.8 billion. Or it may be completed during the loan maturity period on March 31, 2024.”
“This shows the complexity the board faced and confirms that the board made the right decision,” the board wrote.
Solstad's panel adds:
“However, and more importantly, an offer was not available or possible at the time the refinancing was agreed.”
Earlier in December, the billionaire battle began when investor Christine Sveyas and his investment company Kistefos launched a full-scale attack on Kjell Inge Røkkes Aker over values at the shipping company.
Since then, the parties have engaged in dialogue. Meanwhile, Kistefos' request for an extraordinary general meeting to evaluate the case against the board and the Røkke companies involved has been postponed. The dialogue is still ongoing.
The crux of Kistevos's criticism was that the agreement to settle Solstad's debt treated shareholders differently in favor of Aker.
The condition was equal treatment where other shareholders were allowed to purchase more shares in the process of raising capital.
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