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Intermediate Capital in 351m fund raising as it eyes market opportunities

PRIVATE equity lender Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) said yesterday that it plans to raise &pound;351m to grow the business, boosting its share price by 3.16 per cent to 506p.<br /><br />IPG managing director Tom Atwood said the proceeds of the rights issue will allow the company to capitalise on the investment opportunities in the primary and secondary market for buyout capital, as well as participate in the refinancing of existing buyout transactions emerging from the current market environment.<br /><br />The seven-for-two rights issue is being offered at 121p per share, a 39 per cent discount to Wednesday&rsquo;s closing price.<br /><br />ICG, which also invests in buyout debt, added it has extended its debt facilities by a further &pound;395m, bringing its total extension of debt to &pound;545m until 2013.<br /><br />&nbsp;&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll say this is a very big positive. It shows support from banks and should be received very positively,&rdquo; said Noble analyst Nitin Arora.<br /><br />&ldquo;Following the rights issue, ICG will have a firepower of &pound;616m on its own balance sheet. Those who said it doesn&rsquo;t have capacity to grow, will start seeing it as a growth stock,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />ICG said trading in the first quarter was positive with a default rate in the first quarter at 1.2 per cent, in line with expectations, and its top 20 assets continue to perform well.<br /><br /><strong>BOB COWDELL<br />RBS HOARE GOVETT</strong><br />RBS Hoare Govett and JP Morgan Cazenove are acting as joint sponsors, joint financial advisers and joint lead bookrunners to the ICG rights issue, with Credit Suisse acting as joint bookrunners, and HSBC and Lloyds joint lead managers.<br /><br />Hoare Govett&rsquo;s managing director Bob Cowdell is leading the broker&rsquo;s team, which includes Luke Simpson, Lee Morton, Stephen Bowler and Richard Crichton.<br /><br />Cowdell has been with Hoare Govett for 13 years and is currently managing director and head of financials, with UK Financial Investments broking and equity capital markets responsibilities. He specialises in the financial services sector, advising on a range of M&amp;A, public takeover bids, capital reorganisations, IPOs and a wide range of fundraisings.<br /><br />He has recently advised on a number of high-profile transactions, including the HSBC &pound;12.5bn fundraising and the RBS &pound;12m rights issue.<br />The keen yachtsman spends his summers racing in regattas across Europe, performing the role of team tactician.<br /><br />Before joining Hoare Govett, he held roles at de Zoete &amp; Bevan and Warburg Securities. A trained solicitor, he also spent five years working with Theodore Goddard.