Coronavirus (COVID-19)—trends in secondary equity fundraisings (1 April 2020–30 June 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—trends in secondary equity fundraisings (1 April 2020–30 June 2020)

This analysis looks at the 97 secondary equity fundraisings on the Main Market or AIM raising at least £10m which were announced during the three-month period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020. It looks at placings, rights issues and open offers and considers the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has had on secondary equity offers.


Structure of fundraising

The three month period 1 April to 30 June 2020 has seen a huge surge in equity fundraisings by Main Market and AIM companies. Companies have been raising funds to strengthen their balance sheets to alleviate the impact of the pandemic as well as to exploit acquisition opportunities that may arise in the post-coronavirus environment.

There were 97 secondary offers announced by Main Market and AIM companies in the period 1 April to 30 June 2020 seeking to raise £10m and above: 56 by Main Market companies and 41 by AIM companies. In 71 cases (73%) the fundraising was a stand-alone placing and in 13 cases the fundraising structure featured a placing and an open offer.

Two fundraisings were standalone open offers and three fundraisings were rights issues.

In many cases a small subscription by directors, senior managers and other shareholders or a small retail offer was undertaken alongside a placing or open offer but for the purposes of this note, the transaction has been categorised as a placing or open offer.

Gross proceeds raised

The majority of companies (80%) raised gross proceeds of less than £200m with the £10m to £50m range being the most popular. The top three fundraisings by Main Market companies were:

  1. a cash box placing and retail offer by Compass Group plc raising £2bn with new shares representing 12.3% of existing issued share capital,
  2. a fully underwritten rights issue by Whitbread plc raising £1bn with new shares representing 50% of existing issued share capital, and
  3. a cash box placing by Informa plc raising £1bn with new shares representing 19.99% of issued share capital

The top three fundraisings on AIM in

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Market Tracker is a unique service for corporate lawyers housed within Lexis®PSL Corporate. It features a powerful transaction data analysis tool for accessing, analysing and comparing the specific features of corporate transactions, with a comprehensive and searchable library of deal documentation across 14 different deal types. The Market Tracker product also includes news and analysis of key corporate deals and activity and in-depth analysis of recent trends in corporate transactions.