Whitbread has confirmed the successful completion of its rights issue, launched on 21 May 2020, raising €1.12bn (£1bn) with an acceptance rate of over 91%.
Alison Brittain, CEO, commented: “We are very pleased with the successful completion of Whitbread’s €1.12bn (£1bn) equity raise, which achieved an acceptance rate of over 91%, demonstrating the high level of confidence in our strategy from both our institutional and retail shareholders. Our strong balance sheet has for many years been a source of competitive advantage and has underpinned our long-term success. This equity raise enables us to maintain this competitive advantage and retains our financial flexibility. A strong balance sheet alongside our leading operating model and the power of our brands means that we will be in the best possible position to take advantage of enhanced structural opportunities that we expect to be available in both the UK and Germany. This will mean that we are in a position of strength to continue to invest, increase market share, support our colleagues and guests and create significant value for shareholders. In the near-term, we now have all our 18 hotels open in Germany and 49 open hotels in the UK and are ready to re-open the rest of our hotels and restaurants as soon as permitted by UK Government guidance. Our experience in operating the hotels that are currently open has given us a head-start in implementing enhanced hygiene and cleanliness standards, and strict social distancing measures. These measures, alongside a range of new flexible room rates, will help guests book with confidence when our hotels reopen.”
The company has also is restarted the construction of its flagship Oxford Greyfriars Premier Inn earlier this week, which was previously halted due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over recent weeks, Whitbread’s development team has been working with Carter Lauren, the principle building contractor for the Greyfriars Premier Inn, to put in place strict new on-site controls and working practices to ensure social distancing and protect site workers and members of the public. The new measures are in line with the latest Construction Leadership Council and Public Health England guidance.