QuotedData’s morning briefing 27 January 2022

In QuotedData’s morning briefing 27 January 2022:

  • ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) is investing in Brooks Automation alongside funds advised by Thomas H. Lee Partners. The trust has an investment in THL Fund IX and will have exposure to the deal that way, but it will also make a direct investment in Brook Automation. Altogether – on a look-through basis – the trust will invest about $12.6m. Brooks Automation is a market-leading provider of precision robotics, automation systems and contamination control solutions to the global semiconductor industry. The company serves the world’s leading semiconductor chip makers and equipment manufacturers. Headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Brooks Automation has operations across North America, Europe and Asia.
  • Henderson European Focus Trust (HEFT) has agreed to issue €35m of fixed-rate privately placed notes – €25m maturing on 31 January 2047 with a fixed coupon of 1.53%; and €10m maturing on 31 January 2052 with a fixed coupon of 1.66%. The funding date is expected to be 31 January 2022, interest is payable semi-annually, and the notes will be unsecured. The company will also continue to have an overdraft facility, but this will be reduced to the lesser of £30m and 10% of net assets and will `be used to provide gearing flexibility alongside the notes.
  • CIP Merchant Capital’s board has unanimously rejected the latest approach by Corporation Financière Européenne S.A to buy the business at 55p per share. The bidder already owns 31.8% of the business and tried to buy it for 50p per share back in December 2020. [The bidder is clearly trying to get the business cheaply but CIP Merchant Capital’s failure to sort out its discount, especially after the last approach, was bound to invite a proposal like this. It isn’t enough to bleat about how cheap the offer is. CIP Merchant Capital’s board needs to announce proposals to permanently narrow its discount.]
  • Impact Healthcare REIT (IHR) has announced its intention to raise £50m through an issue of new ordinary shares. The open offer, initial placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer is priced at 114.0 pence per share, which represents a discount of 2.7% to the closing price of 117.2 pence on 26 January 2022 and a premium of 2.0% to the company’s estimated net asset value of 111.81 pence as at 30 November 2021. Shareholders that qualify for the open offer will be offered the opportunity to participate on the basis of one new share for every eight existing shares. The company will initially use proceeds to pay down debt and secure assets in its immediate investment pipeline, worth £69m. The group also has a medium to longer term investment pipeline of over £290m.
  • Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX) has posted a trading update that sets out the continued strength of the UK logistics property market. The group said occupier take up in 2021 exceeded 42 million sq ft (versus five-year average annual take up of 29 million sq ft). Vacant space in the final quarter of 2021 was at just 1.6%. Investment volumes totalled a record £16.5bn in 2021, up from £9.2bn in 2020. Investment yields for high-quality buildings with 15+ year unexpired lease terms and either open market or index linked reviews are around 3.5% or below. Operationally, the group says it is accelerating its development programme with  3-4 million sq ft of development starts expected over the next 12 months. Its development pipeline consists of 38.6 million sq ft, which it says has the potential to more than double contracted rent over the long-term. The group completed 3.7 million sq ft of leases in 2021, adding £24m to contracted rent. It has 1.3 million sq ft of developments currently under construction, potentially adding £10m to contracted rent, of which 21% has been pre-leased or is under offer.
  • JZ Capital (JZCP) has a new borrowing facility from Whitehorse Capital Management. It runs until 26 January 2027 and consists of an immediate $45m facility and $25m of further loans to be drawn down as needed. The loans aren’t cheap – up to 8% over LIBOR. The company needs to redeem its zeros in full in October 2022 or it will have defaulted under the terms of this new facility.
  • Hammerson (HMSO) has upped its earnings expectations for 2021 after an improvement in trading across its retail assets. It now expects adjusted earnings will be in the range of £75m to £80m, ahead of the minimum of £60m previously indicated. The group said footfall recovered strongly during the year, with some destinations exceeding 2019 levels and added this trend has continued in 2022 to date. Sales across its UK assets remained strong around Christmas, at 97% of 2019 levels in November and 93% in December. Rent collection for 2021 is 81%, while first quarter 2022 rent collection currently stands at 69%.
  • The UK’s competition and markets authority (CMA) has launched its promised probe into the music streaming market. This could spell good news for Hipgnosis (SONG) and Round Hill Music (RHM).

We also have results from Standard Life Private Equity and news of a new investment by RTW Venture

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