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Flight Centre takes off again on wings of $565m cash raising


Flight Centre’s institutional placement and offering has been a success by raising $565 million.

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It has now gone to its retail shareholders to raise another $138 million as the rally in the company’s shares, which jumped above $13, came to an abrupt halt today.

The company’s shares fell more than 7 per cent this morning to $12.42 after it wrote to shareholders telling them of the institutional take-up of the offer and inviting them to take part in the non-renounceable offer at $7.20, still at a massive discount to its current trading value.

Flight Centre shares were above $35 in mid-February before the COVID-19 crisis hit Australia.

The Brisbane-based travel company is raising $700 million in total to help it through the COVID-19 shutdown. The company’s founders, including Graeme Turner, will take up about $25 million of their entitlement.

“Flight Centre successfully conducted the institutional entitlement offer to raise approximately $283 million and the placement to raise approximately $282 million, at an issue price of $7.20 per new share,” the investor letter said.

“Use of proceeds of the offer will be used to strengthen Flight Centre’s balance sheet and liquidity position to trade through this period of dislocation and uncertainty across the travel sector.”

Eligible retail shareholders can subscribe for one new share for every 1.74 shares they hold as at the record date at an issue price of $7.20 per new share.

Shares in its tourism industry counterpart Virgin Australia remain suspended and likely to stay that way until a rescue package is delivered.


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