October 2, 2003

Roekke off hook?

Kjell Inge Roekke looks to have found his way out of a liquidity crunch that could have led to his losing control of Aker-Kvaerner, whose shipbuilding interests include the Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard.

Last week Orkla ASA disclosed that it had been notified tha Roekke's Norwegian Seafoods Holdings might not make an interest payment due September 30. Orkla indicated that it might go after Roekke's personal assets if the payment wre not made.

On October 1, though, Orkla issued a statement saying: "Constructive negotiations have recently been held in connection with Orkla's NOK 600 million loan to Norway Seafoods Holding."

"The parties have agreed on a draft of a long-term solution," continued the statement. "The premises for this draft solution will be confirmed in the course of a 14-day period and the due date has therefore been postponed accordingly. Until the draft solution has been confirmed Orkla will not provide any further comments."

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