International Airlines Group in £2.5 billion rights issue rumours

International Airlines Group in £2.5 billion rights issue rumours

International Airlines Group released a statement on 24 July 2020, responding to media speculation suggesting that the company was looking to undertake a rights issue to raise £2.5 billion to strengthen its balance sheet.

If the equity raise goes ahead, it will be the biggest secondary offering by deal value of 2020, raising over £500 million more than Compass Group’s placing in May. It would also rank as the second biggest fundraising in the last five years, after the £2.68 billion placing by pharmaceutical giant Astrazeneca, and the largest rights issue since Standard Chartered’s £3.4 billion equity fundraising in 2015.

In its statement, Steve Gunning, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, confirmed that ‘No decision has been made as to whether or when to proceed with a rights issue.’ At the same time, the company announced a lucrative partnership with American Express, which will net IAG approximately £750 million and will involve American Express offering Avios points in connection with British Airways as part of its loyalty programme.

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