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A&O advises on GBP165.9 million share placing for WH Smith plc

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Roe James
James Roe

Partner

London

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Hendrickson Jeff
Jeff Hendrickson

Partner

London

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Challen Lydia
Lydia Challen

Partner

London

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Randall Elizabeth
Elizabeth Randall

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20 April 2020

Allen & Overy has advised the joint global coordinators, joint bookrunners and co-lead manager on a share placing for WH Smith, raising gross proceeds of approximately GBP165.9 million and representing approximately 13.7% of WH Smith's existing issued ordinary share capital.

The placing was conducted through an accelerated book-build process using a “cashbox” structure. 

The placing was well received by the market, with shares trading up by 4.94% following completion.

This placing, together with other new financing arrangements, will provide WH Smith with sufficient liquidity to deal with the very challenging trading environment caused by Covid-19, which has caused the closure of the majority of WH Smith’s travel and high street stores.

The A&O team was led by partners James Roe and Jeff Hendrickson, with support from associates Fatima Shawaf and Rachel Hitchins. Partner Lydia Challen provided tax advice with Jaya Gupta acting as issuer relationship lead.

Allen & Overy also advised the banks on the placing of shares by WH Smith in 2019 to raise GBP155 million to part-fund its acquisition of Marshall Retail Group.

A&O has a market leading Tier 1 ECM practice, combining local ECM expertise in all key European markets with a leading London-based US Securities team and a diverse corporate finance, structuring, governance and compliance offering. The team continues to act for issuers, underwriters and investors on a wide array of equity capital markets transactions, providing key insights on market practice and developments.

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