Latham & Watkins’ London capital markets team has advised on 12 equity capital raisings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling businesses to strengthen their balance sheets, improve liquidity, and continue to pursue strategic opportunities during a prolonged period of disruption.
The transactions all took place on the main market on the London Stock Exchange, generated more than GBP2.5 billion in aggregate proceeds, and included a number of household names such as J D Wetherspoon, Aston Martin and Taylor Wimpey.
“Specific COIVD-19 guidance and modifications from regulators and investor groups have enabled issuers to raise an increased percentage of existing share capital, while also benefitting from the additional working capital flexibility provided by the FCA,” said Chris Horton, a capital markets partner in Latham’s London office. “Issuers and underwriters are becoming increasingly creative to attract investment. Including retail offerings in transactions, which has become popular in recent times. Similarly, we’ve seen growing interest in private investments in public equity (PIPEs), and recently advised on SIG’s capital raise, the first UK PIPE deal since 2009.”
James Inness, London corporate partner, added: “While this is an incredibly difficult time for many businesses, there is no doubt that the equity markets are functioning very well. Issuers are able to raise capital quickly and efficiently to repair and strengthen their balance sheets or, in many cases, invest in growth opportunities and acquisitions. The outlook for equity markets transactions looks positive and we are seeing a growing pipeline of secondary fund raises, including to support M&A activity, as well as renewed interest in exploring IPOs.”
In the US and globally Latham topped capital markets mid-year league tables.