Underwriters hit as Kier £250m rights issue flops

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Bank underwriters are facing heavy losses on Kier group’s £250m rights issue after just over a third of shares were taken up.

Kier chief Haydn Mursell says £250m fundraising leaves Kier entering 2019 with a strong balance sheet
Kier chief Haydn Mursell says £250m fundraising leaves Kier entering 2019 with a strong balance sheet

Shares were trading at 385p yesterday, below the 409p issue price leaving the syndicate of five lenders facing losses even after £14m fees are taken into account.

When Kier chief Haydn Mursell announced the fundraising expedition to pay down its £650m debt mountain, existing shareholders were offered the chance to buy its stocks at a 34% discount, but this was wiped out as shares plummetted on news.

Mursell said: “Following the completion of the £250m rights issue, Kier enters 2019 with a strong balance sheet which puts us in an excellent competitive position.

This cash can now be channelled into reducing debt and speeding-up payments to subcontractors.

When the rights issue plan was unveiled last month, Kier said it had commitment for around 32% of the 64m shares to be taken up. This morning the firm revealed this had edged up to 38% of the issue.

Now underwriters have today decided to take 28m shares with institutional sub-underwriters taking 12m shares.

An analyst told the Enquirer: “This is clearly a set back for Kier’s banks.

“It looks like the banks could be left holding a large chunk of shares in Kier for some time.

“Naturally this will put Kier’s management under more scrutiny going forward.”

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