Pubs and Bars

JD Wetherspoon undergoes £90m share placing

It is the second time the group has tapped investors for funding support since the start of the pandemic

UK pub company, JD Wetherspoon, is raising capital through its investors for the second time during the pandemic via an accelerated share placing of over £90m.

A total of 8,370,000 new ordinary shares have been placed on the exchange by Investec Bank at a price of 1,120p per share, bringing the overall investment level to £93.7m.

The firm already turned to equity markets to bolster its balance sheet in April 2020, as it managed to raise £137m through a share placing just a month into the first lockdown period.

Moreover, the pub chain has received almost £50m through the government’s Covid-19 loan scheme, and has submitted an application to double the state-funded support.

Tim Martin, chairman at Wetherspoon, recognised the “severe impact” that the pandemic is having on the UK pub sector as a whole.

However, he added, via the Financial Times, that “after a number of false starts” the industry is expected to return to normal trading during the spring and summer months, due to the “mass vaccination programme”.

The group has reported that as of 14 January its liquidity stood at £139m, with net debt totalling £1.1bn, and therefore it would reportedly not have survived until the end of its financial year in July without further funding.

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