Tuesday 19 January 2021 5:49 pm

Wetherspoon taps investors for £94m as pub chain circles central London acquisitions

JD Wetherspoon will tap investors for almost £94m as the pub chain is seeking to bolster its balance sheet and swoop on potential central London expansion opportunities.

The FTSE 250 firm announced this afternoon that it will launch an equity placing for the second time during the pandemic, which is expected to raise gross proceeds of between £92.1m and £93.7m. 

The additional capital will provide the firm with “sufficient liquidity to deal with very low sales after reopening”.

It will also allow Wetherspoon to buy up new pubs at low prices, with the firm confirming that it is considering the acquisition of several central London properties. 

It is also planning the freehold reversions of pubs in which it is currently the tenant and taking over properties adjacent to successful pubs. 

“It may be possible to achieve a higher-than average return on capital on properties acquired in the next few years, based on the company’s past experience,” Wetherspoon said in an update this afternoon.

In April Wetherspoon raised £137.7m of new funds through a 15 per cent share placing at £9 per share.