Is Westfield owner planning rights issue to raise cash?
Unibail Rodamco Westfield has responded to press reports that it’s considering raising new equity and that it has been in early talks with advisers about fundraising options including a €3 billion rights issue.
The company said that as of June 30, it had €12.7 billion of cash and undrawn credit facilities at its disposal.
It added that it has taken a number of steps in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to strengthen its liquidity and balance sheet, “including the cancellation of the second dividend instalment, deferring non-essential capital expenditures, a further reduction of the development pipeline and the completion of the disposal of five French shopping centres”.
It stressed that “deleveraging is a priority” for the firm, starting with asset disposals “as evidenced by its intention to sell €4 billion of assets in the next couple of years, on top of the €4.8 billion of disposals the group completed since June 30 2018”.
It didn’t say it wouldn’t opt for a rights issue but did say that the management and supervisory boards “continue to weigh the merits of all potential strategies to strengthen URW’s financial profile in line with their respective fiduciary duties. However, no decision has been made yet on any of the available additional deleveraging options”.
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