P Capital Partners has provided USD 22.5 million to Norwegian regional airline company Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS (Widerøe).
In the fall of 2012, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) completed a comprehensive restructuring including concessions from all major trade unions. As part of the process, SAS board decided to divest certain assets including the fully owned subsidiary Widerøe. To facilitate the divestment, SAS was required to transfer certain assets from SAS balance sheet to Widerøe.
Widerøe is a regional airline company in Norway serving 43 domestic and 5 international destinations. Widerøe is the largest regional airline in the Nordic countries with 2 million annual passengers, 1,400 employees and makes 400 take-offs and landings each day. The public service obligation services with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications on the regional airport network account for slightly less than half of Widerøe’s operations. The remaining services consist of commercial operations across Norway and a few international routes.
PCP has previous experience from the airline market from 2007 when providing a direct loan to a Nordic air freight company, and regard Widerøe’s operating quality and position in the regional airline market for passengers as attractive.
In the first quarter 2013, when SAS, already the operator of the Aircrafts, divested ten turboprop ones to Widerøe, P Capital Partners provided financing for three aircrafts, a transaction in excess of USD 20 million.
In the second quarter 2013 SAS completed the divestment of Widerøe to a group of long-term Norwegian investors lead by Torghatten ASA, one of Norway’s largest infrastructure providers.