This content is not available in your region

EasyJet reports 93% take-up of $1.6 billion rights issue

EasyJet reports 93% take-up of $1.6 billion rights issue
EasyJet reports 93% take-up of $1.6 billion rights issue   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Sarah Young</p> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> -British airline easyJet said its investors had bought 93% of the new shares on offer in its 1.2 billion pound ($1.64 billion) rights issue, designed to help fund its recovery from the pandemic.</p> <p>The airline announced the cash call, its second during 18 months of <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19, earlier this month, at the same time as revealing it had rejected a takeover approach from an unnamed suitor, believed to be low cost rival Wizz Air.</p> <p>EasyJet’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said the extra funds would enable it to take advantage of new opportunities likely to arise as carriers like British Airways-owner <span class="caps">IAG</span>, Air France-<span class="caps">KLM</span> and Lufthansa retreat. </p> <p>“The success of this capital raise, thanks to great support from investors, will enable easyJet to strengthen its balance sheet and accelerate its post-<span class="caps">COVID</span> 19 recovery plan,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. </p> <p>The airline’s biggest shareholder, the family of founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, decided not to participate in the rights issue, and their stake is set to reduce to around 15% from 25% when the shares go live at 0800 <span class="caps">GMT</span> on Tuesday.</p> <p>The founder has in the past clashed with management over its growth plans. </p> <p>EasyJet shares fell 3% to 686 pence in early deals, after the underwriting banks, including Credit Suisse, <span class="caps">BNP</span> Paribas and Goldman Sachs, said they would sell the remaining 21 million shares via an accelerated book build. They closed the book at 0655 <span class="caps">GMT</span>, saying it was oversubscribed at 690 pence.</p> <p>($1 = 0.7311 pounds)</p> </div>