Wetherspoon To Raise £141m Via Placement; Plans June Reopening
British pub group JD Wetherspoon plans to raise £141 million in a share placing as it tries to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced pubs to close.
The company said on Wednesday April 29 that it will place up to 15.7 million shares with investors at 900 pence apiece. That compares with the stock's closing price of 957.5 pence earlier on that date.
JD Wetherspoon also said that approximately 43,000 employees, accounting for more than 99% of its workforce, have been furloughed, and that there have been no job losses to date, although that will remain under review.
"We've had to take significant action to reduce costs, decisions which have not been taken lightly," said founder and chairman Tim Martin, who, along with chief executive John Hutson, will take a 50% salary cut.
Planning For Reopening
The company said that it is starting to plan for the reopening of pubs in or around June, after the British government ordered their closure in March.
It also that said it expects to be eligible for a loan of up to £50 million under the British government's Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, JD Wetherspoon had been battling increased costs due to a mandatory minimum wage hike, higher property prices and power bills.