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WH Smith PLC (SMWH)

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Tuesday 07 April, 2020

WH Smith PLC

RESULTS OF PLACING

RNS Number : 0308J
WH Smith PLC
07 April 2020
 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT (INCLUDING THE APPENDIX) AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, SOUTH AFRICA OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL.

 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT INCLUDES INSIDE INFORMATION

 

 

7 April 2020

 

WH SMITH PLC

 

RESULTS OF PLACING

 

 

WH Smith PLC ("WH Smith" or the "Group" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the successful completion of the placing announced yesterday (the "Placing").

 

A total of 15,751,826 new ordinary shares in WH Smith (the "Placing Shares") have been placed by Barclays Bank PLC ("Barclays"), BNP PARIBAS ("BNP Paribas"), HSBC Bank plc ("HSBC"), J.P. Morgan Securities plc, which conducts its UK investment banking activities as J.P. Morgan Cazenove ("J.P. Morgan Cazenove" or "JPMC") and Banco Santander ("Santander") at a price of 1,050 pence per Placing Share, with existing and new institutional investors. Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC and J.P. Morgan Cazenove, are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners (together, the "Joint Bookrunners") and Santander is acting as a co-lead manager. Concurrently with the Placing, certain directors and members of the senior management team of the Company will subscribe (the "Subscription") for an aggregate of 50,942 new ordinary shares in the capital of the Company (the "Subscription Shares"), at the Placing Price, pursuant to subscription letters entered into with the Company.

 

Together, the Placing and Subscription of 15,802,768 new ordinary shares raised gross proceeds of approximately £165.9 million. The Placing Price of 1,050 pence per Placing Share represents a discount of 4.0% to the closing share price of 1,094 pence on 6 April 2020. The Placing Shares and Subscription Shares represent approximately 13.7% of the issued ordinary share capital of WH Smith prior to the Placing and Subscription.

 

Applications have been made to the Financial Conduct Authority (the "FCA") for admission of the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List maintained by the FCA and to the London Stock Exchange plc (the "LSE") for admission to trading of the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares on the LSE's main market for listed securities (together, "Admission"). It is expected that Admission will take place at or around 8.00 a.m. on 9 April 2020 (or such later date as may be agreed between WH Smith and the Joint Bookrunners) and that dealings in the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares will commence at the same time.

 

The Placing Shares and the Subscription Shares will, when issued, be credited as fully paid and will rank pari passu in all respects with the existing issued ordinary shares of WH Smith. This includes the right to receive all dividends and other distributions declared or paid in respect of such ordinary shares after the date of issue of the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares.

 

Following Admission, the total number of ordinary shares in issue in WH Smith will be 130,863,128. WH Smith currently holds zero ordinary shares in treasury, and, therefore, following Admission, the total number of voting shares in WH Smith in issue will be 130,863,128. This figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, WH Smith under the FCA's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

 

 

Director participation

 

Certain directors of the Company and other persons discharging managerial responsibilities ("PDMR") and/or persons closely associated ("PCA") with them have agreed to subscribe for in aggregate Subscription Shares, at the Placing Price, as follows:

 

Name

Number of Subscription Shares

Henry Staunton

9,523

Annemarie Durbin

952

Suzanne Baxter

952

Simon Emeny

952

Maurice Thompson

952

Carl Cowling

7,142

Robert Moorhead

4,761

Michael Wilkins

4,761

Sean Toal

1,904

Toby Keir

2,380

Phil McNally

1,904

Wendy Stroud

1,428

Peter Swann

2,857

Ian Houghton

4,761

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

WH Smith PLC

 

Investors: Mark Boyle                                                            +44 (0) 7879 897 687

 

Media: Nicola Hillman                                                           +44 (0) 17 9356 3354

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICES

 

No action has been taken by the Company, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, or Santander or any of their respective affiliates, agents, directors, officers or employees that would permit an offer of the securities referred to herein or possession or distribution of this Announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to the securities referred to herein in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required.

This Announcement has been issued by and is the sole responsibility of the Company. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made as to, or in relation to, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, or Santander or by any of their respective affiliates or agents as to, or in relation to, the accuracy or completeness of this Announcement or any other written or oral information made available to or publicly available to any interested party or its advisers, and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

Members of the public are not eligible to take part in the Placing. This Announcement and the terms and conditions set out herein are for information purposes only and are directed at and my only be communicated to (a) in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), persons who are "qualified investors" within the meaning of Article 2(e) of Prospectus Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1129) ("Qualified Investors"); and (b) in the United Kingdom, at Qualified Persons who are also (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments who fall within the definition of "investment professionals" in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "Order"); (ii) high net worth bodies corporate, unincorporated associations and partnerships and trustees of high value trusts as described in Article 49(2) of the Order; or (iii) persons to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as "Relevant Persons").

Any investment or investment activity to which this Announcement relates is only available to, and will be engaged in only with, Relevant Persons. Persons distributing this Announcement must satisfy themselves that is lawful to do so. This Announcement is for information purposes only and shall not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy, subscribe for or otherwise acquire securities in any jurisdiction in which any such offer or solicitation would be unlawful. Any failure to comply with this restriction may constitute a violation of the securities laws of such jurisdictions.  Persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser.

The distribution of this Announcement and the offering, placing and/or issue of the Placing Shares in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. No action has been taken by the Company, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, or Santander or any of their respective affiliates that would permit an offer of the Placing Shares or possession or distribution of this Announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to such Placing Shares in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. Persons into whose possession this announcement comes are required by Company, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, or Santander to inform themselves about and to observe any such restrictions.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN, IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION, RELEASE OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, ANY STATE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (COLLECTIVELY, THE "UNITED STATES"), AUSTRALIA, CANADA, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, JAPAN OR JERSEY OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH PUBLICATION, RELEASE OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL.  FURTHER, THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT AN OFFER OF SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY THE LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE, NOR IS IT INTENDED THAT IT WILL BE SO APPROVED.

This Announcement or any part of it does not constitute or form part of any offer to issue or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to acquire, purchase or subscribe for, any securities in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Republic of South Africa, Japan or any other jurisdiction in which the same would be unlawful. No public offering of the securities referred to herein is being made in any such jurisdiction.

This communication is not a public offer of securities for sale in the United States. The securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") or under the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered or sold directly or indirectly in or into the United States except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and in compliance with the securities laws of any state or any other jurisdiction of the United States.  The securities referred to herein may not be offered and sold within the United States except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act.

Solely for the purposes of the product governance requirements contained within: (a) EU Directive 2014/65/EU on markets in financial instruments, as amended ("MiFID II"); (B) Articles 9 and 10 of Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2017/593 supplementing MiFID II; and (c) local implementing measures (together, the "MiFID II Product Governance Requirements"), and disclaiming all and any liability, whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise, which any 'manufacturer' (for the purposes of the MiFID II Product Governance Requirements) may otherwise have with respect thereto, the securities referred to herein have been subject to a product approval process, which has determined that such securities referred to herein are: (i) compatible with an end target market of retail investors and investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties, each as defined in MiFID II; and (ii) eligible for distribution through all distribution channels as are permitted by MiFID II (the "Target Market Assessment"). Notwithstanding the Target Market Assessment, distributors should note that: the price of the securities referred to herein may decline and investors could lose all or part of their investment; the securities referred to herein offer no guaranteed income and no capital protection; and an investment in the securities referred to herein is compatible only with investors who do not need a guaranteed income or capital protection, who (either alone or in conjunction with an appropriate financial or other adviser) are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of such an investment and who have sufficient resources to be able to bear any losses that may result therefrom. The Target Market Assessment is without prejudice to the requirements of any contractual, legal or regulatory selling restrictions in relation to the Placing. Furthermore, it is noted that, notwithstanding the Target Market Assessment, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, or Santander will only procure investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Target Market Assessment does not constitute: (a) an assessment of suitability or appropriateness for the purposes of MiFID II; or (b) a recommendation to any investor or group of investors to invest in, or purchase or take any other action whatsoever with respect to the securities referred to herein. Each distributor is responsible for undertaking its own target market assessment in respect of the securities referred to herein and determining appropriate distribution channels.

Any indication in this Announcement of the price at which ordinary shares have been bought or sold in the past cannot be relied upon as a guide to future performance. No statement in this Announcement is intended as a profit forecast or estimate for any period and no statement in this Announcement should be interpreted to mean that earnings, earnings per share or income, cash flow from operations or free cash flow for the Company, as appropriate, for the current or future years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings, earnings per share or income, cash flow from operations or free cash flow for the Company.

Barclays, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and HSBC are each authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. BNP Paribas is lead supervised by the European Central Bank ("ECB") and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution ("ACPR") (and its London Branch is authorised by the ECB, the ACPR and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority). Santander a public entity regulated by the Bank of Spain, the European Central Bank and the Spanish Stock Market Authority. Santander is authorised by Bank of Spain and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Each of Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Santander is acting exclusively for the Company and no one else in connection with the Placing, the content of this Announcement and other matters described in this Announcement. Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander will not regard any other person as their respective clients in relation to the Placing, the content of this Announcement and other matters described in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone (including any placees) other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to their respective clients or for providing advice to any other person in relation to the Placing, the content of this Announcement or any other matters referred to in this Announcement.

In connection with the Placing, each of Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander and any of their affiliates, acting as investors for their own account, may take up a portion of the shares in the Placing as a principal position and in that capacity may retain, purchase, sell, offer to sell for their own accounts such shares and other securities of the Company or related investments in connection with the Placing or otherwise. Accordingly, references to Placing Shares being offered, acquired, placed or otherwise dealt in should be read as including any issue or offer to, or acquisition, placing or dealing by, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander and any of their affiliates acting in such capacity. In addition, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander and any of their affiliates may enter into financing arrangements (including swaps) with investors in connection with which the Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander and any of their respective affiliates may from time to time acquire, hold or dispose of shares. Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander do not intend to disclose the extent of any such investment or transactions otherwise than in accordance with any legal or regulatory obligations to do so. 

In addition, in the event that Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander acquire Placing Shares in the Placing, they may co-ordinate disposals of such shares in accordance with applicable law and regulation. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, Barclays, BNP Paribas, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, and Santander do not propose to make any public disclosure in relation to such transactions. Neither the content of the Company's website (or any other website) nor the content of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's website (or any other website) is incorporated into or forms part of this Announcement. The Placing Shares to be issued or sold pursuant to the Placing will not be admitted to trading on any stock exchange other than the London Stock Exchange.

 

 

 


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