Rolls-Royce mulls £2.5bn equity raise and new debt

By Mark McSherry

Rolls-Royce said at the weekend it is “evaluating the merits of raising equity of up to £2.5 billion” and is also considering new debt issuance.

A Financial Times report said the company was in talks with sovereign wealth funds including Singapore’s GIC as part of its efforts to raise funds.

Rolls-Royce shares have fallen 77% in the past 12 months and are currently trading at their lowest level in 16 years.

“Rolls-Royce notes the continued media speculation regarding the possibility of the group undertaking a fund raising,” said Rolls-Royce.

“We continue to review all funding options to enhance balance sheet resilience and strength.

“Amongst other options, we are evaluating the merits of raising equity of up to £2.5bn, through a variety of structures including a rights issue and potentially other forms of equity issuance.

“Our review also includes new debt issuance. 

“No final decisions have been taken as to whether or when to proceed with any of these options or as to the precise amount that may be raised.

“As we said on 27 August 2020, following rapid management actions to reduce costs and secure additional liquidity, we started the second half of 2020 with liquidity of £6.1bn (comprising £4.2bn cash at end June and a £1.9bn undrawn revolving credit facility).

“In addition, we finalised a £2bn undrawn term loan, partly backed by the UK Export Finance, in August.

“We have also launched a major restructuring of our group, in particular our Civil Aerospace business, with forecast annualised pre-tax savings of over £1.3bn by the end of 2022.

“As previously announced, we have also already identified a number of potential disposals that are expected to generate proceeds of more than £2bn over the next 18 months, including ITP Aero.

“A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”