Quintain Estates joins rivals in property cash call frenzy

PROPERTY developer Quintain Estates yesterday unveiled a fully underwritten &pound;191.2m cash call to reduce its debt pile and fund construction projects.<br /><br />Quintain said the three-for-one rights issue of 390m shares would be priced at 49p &ndash; a 72 per cent discount to Wednesday&rsquo;s closing price. The group said the net proceeds would be &pound;183.5m after fees and costs.<br /><br />JP Morgan, HSBC and Barclays Capital are acting as underwriters, with JP Morgan Cazenove and Lazard acting as joint financial advisers.<br /><br />For the six months to 30 September, Quintain posted a pre-tax profit of &pound;9.5m, compared with a loss of &pound;51.6m in the same period a year earlier.<br /><br />The property developer has been working to meet its debt covenants and refinance its debt throughout 2009 with &pound;49m from refinancing and initial equity in early October, the extension of its banking facility in May and the sale of the firm that controls the 999-year lease on the O2 center to Trinity College Cambridge.<br /><br />Chairman William Rucker said: &ldquo;The rights issue will enhance the group&rsquo;s financial position and enable us to unlock substantial value from our existing portfolio.&rdquo;