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LondonMetric Property completes upsized £120mln placing for expansion as pandemic impact throws up opportunities

The FTSE 250-listed REIT had raised the amount from an initial level of approximately £100mln in light of the exceptional level of demand received both from existing investors and potential new holders

LondonMetric Property PLC - LondonMetric Property to raise £100mln for expansion as pandemic impact throws up opportunities
LondonMetric also reported its full-year results on Tuesday in which it reiterated that it will pay a fourth-quarter dividend of 2.3p

LondonMetric Property PLC (LON:LMP), the warehouse and distribution site specialist, said it had increased the size of Tuesday's placing to £120mln, up from an initial level of approximately £100mln in light of the exceptional level of demand received both from existing investors and potential new holders.

The group said the successfully completed fundraise saw a total of 66,666,666 new ordinary shares placed by JPMorgan Cazenove and Peel Hunt at a price of 180.0p each, representing, in aggregate, approximately 7.9% of LondonMetric's issued ordinary share capital prior to the placing.

The placing price represented a discount of 1.5% to the group's closing share price on May 4 of 182.7p. LondonMetric shares closed trade on Tuesday, at 192.60p, up 5.4%.

The company said the funds raised will be used on an extensive pipeline of acquisition opportunities thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic. It said it continues to expect to substantially deploy the net proceeds within three months.

In a statement announcing the placing result, Andrew Jones, the FTSE 250-listed REIT's chief executive officer, commented: "We are extremely grateful to our shareholders and to new investors for their strong support and the exceptional level of demand for this capital raise. The funds raised will allow us to execute on our quality pipeline of deals and opportunities as we continue to further strengthen our portfolio's long term income characteristics."

Solid update

LondonMetric reported a trading update on Tuesday in which it reiterated that it will pay a fourth-quarter dividend of 2.3p to make 8.3p in total for the year, up from 8.2p a year earlier.

The group's portfolio currently is worth £2.3bn and comprises 35% in urban logistics, 34% in regional and big-box sites and 24% in long income assets.

Results for the year to March 31, 2020, showed earnings per share rose by 6% to 9.3p with net rental income rising by 24% to £116mln. Net asset value eased slightly to 172p, down from 175p a year earlier, after costs relating to the acquisition of A&J Mucklow.

LondonMetric said that it had collected 92% of rentals due by April 1, 2020, with 3% deferrals and 4% of agreed concessions as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

In a statement alongside the final results, Jones said: “These uncertain times are starting to give rise to quality investment opportunities that are seldom available in a normalised market.”

 -- Adds placing increase, closing share price --

Quick facts: LondonMetric Property PLC

Price: 222.2 GBX

LSE:LMP
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £2.02 billion
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