AFRICAN budget airline Fastjet raised £50m through a placing of 5bn new shares yesterday.
The London-listed group said it was raising cash to fulfil working capital requirements in order to launch and grow operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa.
The firm said the placing would provide sufficient funds to build “a sizeable operation in each country”.
Meanwhile, any of the funds raised in excess of the working capital requirements are to be put towards acquiring used Airbus A319 aircraft.
Fastjet, which currently operates out of Tanzania where it launched in 2012, began the placing by way of an accelerated book-build yesterday morning, and closed the books a few hours later.
“I am delighted with the success of our placing and with the positive reaction of investors,” said chief executive Ed Winter.
“While our low-cost airline model is already well established and highly regarded in Tanzania, this fundraising is a transformative step towards achieving Fastjet’s goal of building Africa’s most successful pan-continental low-cost airline.”
Winter added that through expanding the company’s model to five new countries, the group aims to serve up to 210m potential customers, or 20 per cent of Africa’s population.
Shares in Fastjet, which also operates Fly540 Angola and Fly540 Ghana, dived 12.77 per cent yesterday.
BEHIND THE DEAL
CLAYTON BUSH LIBERUM CAPITAL
1 Bush is a member of the investment banking team at Liberum, which he joined from Canaccord Adams. He has also worked at Credit Lyonnais Securities.
2 He was the lead banker on Sirius Minerals’ £15m placing in March, and also advised Mediterranean Oil and Gas when they were bought by Rockhopper last summer.
3 An avid Liverpool fan, Clayton claims to have once played at Wembley Stadium, and said he counts the resulting highlights video among his most prized possessions.
Bush was joined by his Liberum colleague Christopher Britton, and WH Ireland’s Harry Ansell and Jasper Berry acted as joint bookrunners. James Joyce and Mark Leonard, also from WH Ireland, acted as Nomads.