Whitbread confirms successful completion of £1bn rights issue

The parent company of Premier Inn, Whitbread, has confirmed it has successfully completed a £1bn rights issue with an acceptance rate of over 91%, demonstrating a “high level of confidence” in its strategy from both its institutional and retail shareholders.

Last month, Whitbread announced the launch of a rights issue in efforts to raise £1bn, in order to shore up cash amid the ongoing pandemic.

The hotel group said the move would “enhance” its financial flexibility and “ability to successfully execute our strategy in the UK and Germany”, in order to “drive attractive returns on investment in the long-term”. 

News of the fundraiser comes as the group said its full-year performance was “in line with expectations”, with commercial initiatives driving trading in the second-half of its financial year. 

CEO Alision Brittain said the company’s “strong” balance sheet has for “many years been a source of competitive advantage and has underpinned our long-term success”.

She said a “strong balance sheet” alongside Whitbreads operating model and the “power of its brands” results in the “best possible position to take advantage of enhanced structural opportunities” expected to be available in both the UK and Germany.

The company revealed it has all 18 sites open in Germany and 49 open hotels in the UK and are “ready to open” the rest of its hotels and restaurants as soon as permitted by UK government guidance.

Brittain said: “Our experience in operating the hotels that are currently open has given us a head-start in implementing enhanced hygiene and cleanliness standards, and strict social distancing measures.

“These measures, alongside a range of new flexible room rates, will help guests book with confidence when our hotels reopen.”

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