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Amigo proposes equity raise under rescue plan, shares plunge

By Reuters

-British subprime lender Amigo said on Monday it expects court proceedings over its new rescue plan to take at least four months once submitted, and laid out plans for an equity raise to support the business, dragging its shares nearly 30% lower.

Amigo had flagged a potential equity raise in August after London’s High Court rejected its older rescue plan that would have cut compensation payouts to customers who complained about Amigo mis-selling loans to them.

Subprime lenders like Amigo, which typically lend to consumers who have been rejected by mainstream banks, have been hit by a regulatory clampdown in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the strain on operations.

“The likelihood of a potential material dilution for shareholders is a difficult but necessary consequence of our situation … we are an insolvent business so there are no easy paths if we want to avoid administration,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Jennison said in a statement.

Amigo, which halted all new lending in September, said its new rescue plan would depend on lending restarting and the completion of the equity raise. It reiterated that it would have to file for insolvency if the new scheme is rejected.

The company reported an interim pre-tax profit of 2.1 million pounds ($2.80 million), and said it was also weighing an early part repayment or repurchase of some notes.