accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) has raised just shy of £33mln through a share placing and subscription which it said will leave it “well placed” to navigate the crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The electronic ticketing and queuing specialist raised £32.3mln through the placing of around 11.3mln new shares and £0.6mln through a subscription of 212,414 shares both at a price of 290p per share, a 13.4% discount to accesso’s closing price on Thursday.
The firm has also unveiled plans for an open offer at the same price to raise an additional £6.2mln.
Announcing the fundraising after Thursday’s close, accesso said it was “essential” to strengthen its liquidity position to trade through the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, which has caused most of its client theme parks and attractions to close.
The company said it had sufficient liquidity to support its business until the autumn, however, the extra funds will allow it to avoid breaching debt covenants at its June 2020 and September 2020 test dates.
“This additional liquidity will leave the Group well placed to navigate the current crisis and capitalise on future growth opportunities, and will also protect the business in the event that its reasonable worst case scenario materialises”, the company said in a statement.
accesso also said it has reached an agreement with Lloyds for an additional banking facility of £8mln.
Looking ahead, the company said it was “working closely” with its core customers as they prepare to reopen their attractions, adding that it was also having “encouraging conversations” with clients in relation to using its products to implement social distancing measures at attractions.
“We’re pleased to have completed this placing and further strengthened our financial position. We are grateful for the strong support of both our existing shareholders and new institutional investors and their faith in our ability to navigate the current environment. We are also pleased to announce an open offer to qualifying shareholders, and look forward to emerging from this situation with full focus on our long-term plan”, said accesso chief executive Steve Brown.
Products could become “mission critical”, says broker
In a note on Friday, analysts at Peel Hunt retained their ‘add’ rating and 265p target price, saying the company’s products were shifting from “‘premium, love-to-haves’ to ‘mission critical’” for theme park operators.
“Over the past few weeks, the likes of Six Flags have talked about making sure their parks only open when it is safe to do so. They will need to modify operations and spoke about virtual queuing, contactless payments, and advanced bookings. If one park operator is deemed safer than another, because of these initiatives, that other operator may consider those initiatives too. Accesso could now be deemed mission critical for the survival of theme parks”, the broker said.
accesso’s shares jumped 3.4% to 346.4p in late-morning trading.
–Adds broker comment and share price–
Published at Fri, 22 May 2020 09:53:00 +0000-accesso higher as it raises £33mln to strengthen balance sheet amid pandemic