Thursday 10 September 2020 9:48 am

Saga launches £150m raise as former owner returns

Cruise and insurance firm Saga today launched a £150m capital raise this morning as the company reported a £55.5m loss for the first half of 2020.

As part of the deal, former boss Roger de Haan will return to the company his father founded as non-executive chairman.

Read more: Saga shares jump on proposed £150m equity raise backed by former boss

He will invest up to £100m into the London-listed firm, which has suspended all of its cruises due to the pandemic.

De Haan will take a 20 per cent stake in Saga, which will raise £60m by giving him 224m new shares at a price of 27p per share.

The last six months have seen the firm repeatedly knocked off course by the pandemic, which has battered the global cruise industry.

Profit swung into the red after last year’s £52.6m, down over 200 per cent to this year’s loss of £55.5m. 

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The firm has also cancelled its dividend and cut 1,400 jobs due to the near-total slump in demand for its cruises. 

Despite the continued uncertainty, Saga is aiming to recommence sailings by the end of this year.

Euan Sutherland, the former Superdry boss who took over as the firm’s chief executive this year, said: “Saga is a proud British business, with a strong brand, loyal customers and great people and we are excited about the opportunities ahead”.

Read more: Former Saga chief to return and invest £100m as part of equity raise plans

It also announced a new strategy, which will see it refresh its brand, invest in data, reset its tours offer and improve its digital capabilities to revamp the business. 

Sutherland added: “With our strengthened financial position and a refreshed strategy, we expect to be well positioned to unlock all the potential in Saga, returning the business to sustainable growth and creating significant long-term value for all our investors.”