Regus PLC, the world´s largest provider of serviced offices, yesterday confirmed its exit from Chapter 11 and the launch of a 55 mln stg rights issue to be made by Regus Group PLC.
Chief executive Mark Dixon said: 'We are pleased to be exiting Chapter 11 on schedule and today´s fully underwritten fundraising adds further strength to our balance sheet while widening our shareholder base with the introduction of more than 20 new, high-quality institutional investors.'
He said these moves, together with the more positive trading conditions that the group is seeing around the world, place Regus in a strong position to move forward in 2004.
The rights issue will be on the basis of one new share for every three shares held at 28 pence each to raise a net 52 mln stg. It is fully underwritten by KBC Peel Hunt Ltd. Regus said 28 mln stg of the net proceeds will be used to settle claims of US creditors in cash (rather than in a combination of new shares and CULS as originally proposed) as part of Regus´ exit from Chapter 11. The balance of the net proceeds will provide additional working capital for the group and strengthen the balance sheet.
Regus also said the rights issue has been sub-underwritten by KBC Peel Hunt with predominantly institutional investors. This will increase the number of shares in public hands and is expected to encourage continuing institutional investment in the company.
Regus also announced that it has now received confirmation from the board of Indigo Capital LLC that it no longer has any intention of making an offer for Regus or the company and all discussions have been terminated. Indigo Capital said it has transferred its entire shareholding of 74,350,000 shares in Regus to ICE SAS.
Regus has not paid or declared any dividends since the initial public offering in October 2000. Notwithstanding the rights issue, Regus Group currently expects to retain future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of its business. Therefore, Regus Group said it does not anticipate paying cash or other dividends on shares in the foreseeable future.