REXAM, Europe’s biggest drinks can maker, yesterday announced a fully underwritten £350.7m cash call to protect its investment grade credit rating.<br /><br />The company, which manufactures cans for Pepsi Bottling Group and Red Bull, is the first firm to launch a rights issue to maintain its credit rating, rather than from a distressed or opportunistic position.<br /><br />The group said the four for 11 rights issue of 234m new shares will be priced at 150p, a 25.7 per cent discount to Tuesday’s closing price of 276.25p. The new shares are expected to be at a 38.25 per cent discount to the theoretical ex-rights price.<br /><br />The rights issue is underwritten by long-term advisers RBS Hoare Govett and Citi. Boutique investment bank Greenhill, who is advising, was hired a matter of weeks before yesterday’s announcement.<br /><br />The group yesterday axed its dividend to conserve its cash reserves as the group warned it could see “no upturn in current trading conditions through 2009”.<br /><br /><strong>JAMES LUPTON<br />GREENHILL <br />ADVISER TO REXAM</strong><br />GREENHILL, the boutique investment bank was retained specifically by Rexam’s directors for financial advice on its cash call.<br /><br />James Lupton joined the the New York-based parent company in 1998 after setting up its London office along with director Simon Borrows.<br /><br />Both had held senior roles in the corporate finance division of Barings, the investment bank now part of ING . Lupton previously had a 17 year career with Baring Brothers, where he served as deputy chairman. Prior to that he worked at S.G.Warburg and qualified as a Solicitor with Lovell White & King.