Marketing

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


British airline EasyJet said its investors had bought 93 per cent of the new shares on offer in its £1.2 billion (€1.4 billion) rights issue, designed to help fund its recovery from the pandemic.

The airline announced the cash call, its second during 18 months of Covid-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.

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 IAG, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa retreat.

“The success of this capital raise, thanks to great support from investors, will enable EasyJet to strengthen its balance sheet and accelerate its post-Covid 19 recovery plan,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

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 per cent from 25 per cent when the shares go live.

The founder has in the past clashed with management over its growth plans.

EasyJet shares fell 3 per cent to 686 pence in early deals, after the underwriting banks, including Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs, said they would sell the remaining 21 million shares via an accelerated book build. They closed the book at 6.55am, saying it was oversubscribed at 690 pence.



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