EasyJet raises €462m in share placing

Airline placed 59.5m new shares to help it withstand Covid-19 pandemic

Photograph: Getty Images

Photograph: Getty Images

 

Budget airline easyJet on Thursday said it had raised about £419 million (€462 million) through a share placing to help it withstand the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline said it had placed a total of 59.5 million new ordinary shares at a price of 703 pence per share after announcing the move after the market’s close on Wednesday.

“The company is pleased by the strong support it has received from existing shareholders and others,” the airline said in a statement.

The airline, which grounded its fleet on March 30th, has said it does not expect passenger demand to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.

EasyJet said more customers than expected had rebooked or taken a voucher instead of a refund. That, combined with the share placement, a government-backed loan and other measures, should give it an higher-than-expected cash balance of more than three billion pounds, it said.

The airline, which has joined a legal challenge to the UK’s newly-introduced quarantine rules, plans to ramp-up flights in the next two months after restarting a minimal service last week.

It aims to operate 30 per cent of planned pre-Covid-19 capacity in the fourth quarter and pointed to “encouraging” bookings for easyJet Holidays, but did not provide financial guidance when it announced its plans to place new shares. – Reuters