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Marston's brushes off investor rebellion as 176m rights issue gets green light

PUB group Marston&rsquo;s yesterday got the green light from shareholders for its proposed &pound;176m rights issue, which was dubbed by some leading shareholders as &ldquo;totally ridiculous.&rdquo;<br /><br />Yesterday at an extraordinary meeting almost 10 per cent of shareholders voted against the plans, arguing that the level of share raising and expansion plans would provide no real short term boost to earnings.<br /><br />The resolution covering the rights issue proposal was carried by a show of hands, with 35.3m proxy votes cast in favour of the move, and 8.5m against.<br /><br />Marston&rsquo;s announced last month a fully underwritten 11-for-10 rights issue to raise gross proceeds of around &pound;176m, through the issue of 298,865,230 new shares at 59p each.<br /><br />The Pedigree bitter brewer intends to use approximately &pound;140m of the proceeds to develop 70 new pubs while property remaind cheap.<br /><br />The pubs sector has been awash with rights issues, including Greene King which tapped investors for &pound;200m and Punch Taverns, which raised &pound;375m to cut its &pound;4.2bn debt.