John Laing shares fall after announcing rights issue to raise £210m

 
Rebecca Smith
John Laing is a developer and operator of infrastructure projects like roads and railways
John Laing is a developer and operator of infrastructure projects like roads and railways (Source: Getty)

Shares in John Laing dipped more than five per cent this morning after the infrastructure firm announced a £210m rights issue to tap into more US opportunities.

John Laing said it was looking to raise the £210.2m in a one for three rights issue "to take advantage of a larger proportion of its growing pipeline of opportunities". It said the issue price of 177p per rights issue share represents a 29.2 per cent discount to its closing price yesterday.

Last year, the group made investment commitments of £383m, which John Laing said was "well ahead" of both guidance for the year of around £200m and investment commitments of £182m and £180m in the prior two years.

Read more: John Laing reports steep drop in profit

It said the US market had shown faster growth than expected, and last year John Laing had focused more on investments in the US than it did across all three of its geographical regions in both 2016 and 2015.

John Laing said another reason for the rights issue was that it had been concentrating on developing its relationships with international partners, including construction firms and renewable energy developers, leading to more investment opportunities.

As of the end of last year, its investment pipeline stood at over £2bn.

The rights issue is fully underwritten by Barclays Bank and HSBC Bank, and came alongside the company's full-year results with a fall in profit before tax.

Last year's came in at £126m compared to £192.1m in 2016, though John Laing said it had a strong investment pipeline including nine shortlisted public-private partnership positions.

It reported a 10.5 per cent rise in net asset value from the year before.

Olivier Brousse, John Laing's chief executive, said: "2017 was a strong year for John Laing. We made record investment commitments, driven in large part by our success in our core Asia Pacific and North America markets. We continued to grow our pipeline, 95 per cent of which is now made up of opportunities outside the UK, and to scale up our business."

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