Whitbread (WTB.L) Raises GBP921 Million In Rights Issue

(Alliance News) – Premier Inn-owner Whitbread PLC said Wednesday it received 61.5 million acceptances in its 1 for 2 rights issue, raising a total of GBP921.8 million.

Whitbread noted the acceptances, priced at 1,500 pence per share, were 91% of the shares in the fully underwritten rights issue.

Shares in Whitbread closed at 2,653.00p in London on Tuesday. They were up 0.3% at 2,661.00p early Wednesday.

Whitbread said JP Morgan Cazenove and Morgan Stanley, who are acting as joint global coordinators, will “use reasonable endeavours” to acquire the remaining 5.8 million shares. They will acquire the shares should no takers be found.

Whitbread previously said the rights issue will be used to provide a platform for future growth and investment.

In mid-May, when the rights issue was announced, the company said it had “significant” liquidity entering the new financial year and the Covid-19 crisis.

It said its UK hotels are ready to open when the government advises, but added that its internal scenario assumes that hotels will be closed, or will have low levels of occupancy, until September.

“The purpose of the rights issue is to ensure that Whitbread emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic in the strongest possible position to take advantage of its long-term structural growth opportunities and win market share in both the UK and Germany,” the company said.

Whitbread added that the funds also will provide further liquidity headroom in the event of a resurgence of the Covid-19 outbreak. As at May 15, the company had cash of GBP300 million and access to a GBP950 million revolving credit facility, of which GBP50 million is already drawn.

By Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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