Latham & Watkins advised in connection with a “cash box” placing by Hays plc (Hays), the global recruitment company. Hays is raising gross proceeds of £200 million on a non pre-emptive basis, representing approximately 14% of its existing issued ordinary share capital.
The placing was conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding process. This took place the day after the UK Pre-emption Group released new guidelines on “cash box” placings (April 1, 2020) where it recommended that shareholders consider supporting issuances by companies of up to 20% of existing share capital through a “cash box” structure. The change in the guidelines applies until September 30, 2020 due to the unprecedented financial conditions many companies are facing, doubling the size of placings within the recommendations.
The equity raised will ensure that Hays has a strong balance sheet and can continue with minimal or no debt once its end markets stabilize.
Latham advised the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on the transaction: BofA Securities, Jefferies International Limited, and UBS AG London Branch. The team was led by London corporate partners Chris Horton and James Inness, with associates Sean Meehan, Tom Channing, and Fred Gardner. US securities law advice was provided by London partner Ryan Benedict and associate Sarah Youssefi, and tax advice was provided by London partner Karl Mah and associate James Leslie.