I’ve been doing some digging into equity placings. It could be a good lead for identifying opportunities.

Companies will go bust in this lockdown but larger publicly listed operations generally have better access to funding and so should stand more chance of squeaking through - not that “squeaking through” will feel like a particularly fun process for anybody involved.

Since the middle of March I’ve found nearly 30 equity raises totalling c£1.5bn. Most of these raises have been to either address working capital needs or to strengthen liquidity and balance sheets.

I am actually slightly surprised by the number - I think there could be more placings in the coming weeks and some companies might end up wishing they had acted sooner. Appetite to participate in such placings, on the other hand, could rapidly dry up.

In fact, there have been two placings since I have started writing this and that I have not had time to incorporate: Gym Group and Hollywood Bowl.

Here’s a table of what I’ve got so far. If you see any I’ve missed, let me know and I’ll update it.

Company

Date

% of company sold

Total raised (£m)

Share price performance

Director purchases (£m)

StockRank

Hotel Chocolat

03/20/2020

8.5%

22

23.71%

4.20

48

Fireangel Safety

03/23/2020

66.7%

6

-15.49%

0.00

18

EVR Holdings

03/23/2020

20.9%

11

4.86%

0.77

7

Synairgen

03/25/2020

36.6%

14

194.79%

0.07

19

SSP

03/25/2020

19.3%

215

4.71%

0.76

48

Ten Entertainment

03/25/2020

5.0%

5

6.90%

0.31

85

Arena Events

03/26/2020

62.2%

10

0.00%

0.25

45

City Pub

3/27/2020

73.7%

29

67.97%

0.00

31

PCI-PAL

03/27/2020

39.2%

5

-4.93%

0.00

21

Eurocell

04/01/2020

10.0%

18

15.77%

0.09

78

Auto Trader

04/01/2020

5.1%

186

10.26%

0.00

36

Joules

04/02/2020

21.0%

15

-5.91%

1.18

30

Hays

04/02/2020

14.3%

200

12.36%

0.10

58

WH Smith

04/06/2020

13.7%

166

8.30%

0.47

60

Avacta

04/06/2020

11.1%

6

325.21%

0.00

29

Assura

04/06/2020

10.0%

185

6.63%

0.00

48

Safestyle

04/07/2020

60.4%

9

37.10%

0.11

60

ASOS

04/07/2020

18.8%

247

42.63%

0.66

31

Alpha FX

04/07/2020

7.3%

20

14.44%

0.36

49

Everyman

04/08/2020

23.8%

15

31.18%

0.36

18

Restaurant Group

04/08/2020

19.9%

57

-12.72%

0.06

39

MJ Gleeson

04/08/2020

4.9%

16

4.05%

0.17

48

Van Elle

04/09/2020

33.0%

7

48.61%

0.93

97

Advanced Oncotherapy

04/09/2020

23.8%

18

12.27%

0.19

4

IMI Mobile

04/09/2020

9.9%

22

6.2%

0.00

61

Essensys

04/09/2020

9.6%

7

6.35%

1.14

44











1,511

38.89%

12.18

42.76923077

In the set I have assembled since the start of the lockdown, UK-listed companies have raised about £1.5bn from the public markets. Directors of said companies have purchased just over £12m of stock.

In absolute terms, the largest raise has been from Asos (£247m).

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On average, share prices have improved by 39% on the pre-placing price, which suggests the market is so…

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