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Norwegian Air's top owner cuts stake to 9%

OSLO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Leasing company AerCap Holdings said on Wednesday it had cut its ownership stake in crisis-hit budget carrier Norwegian Air to 9%, crossing the 10% threshold at which divestments must be publicly disclosed.

Norwegian earlier this year converted a portion of its debt into shares as part of a financial rescue package, making AerCap the largest shareholder with a 13.4% stake and also giving other leasing firms substantial ownership in the carrier.

AerCap in June took a seat on Norwegian’s board, but its representative resigned last week.

Despite the earlier rescue package, pandemic-hit Norwegian Air could still run out of cash in the first quarter of 2021 unless it secures funding, the carrier has said.

Norway’s government has so far rejected the company’s plea for more state support, arguing it was too risky.

In addition to its remaining shares, AerCap also holds bonds in Norwegian which could be converted into an additional stake of 5.9%. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Louise Heavens)

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