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Equiniti plots rights issue to fund takeover


The outsourcer which handles share registration services for half of the FTSE-100 is plotting a £100m rights issue to fund a takeover that will ‎herald its maiden push into the lucrative US market.

Sky News has learnt that Equiniti‎ Group has agreed a deal with the giant American bank Wells Fargo to acquire its share registration unit in a deal worth approximately $250m.
The takeover, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday, will include a rights issue to raise roughly half of the purchase price, according to City investors.
The share sale will be handled by Barclays and Citi.
One source said that the acquisition of the Wells Fargo division would be the most significant purchase in Equiniti’s history.
It will give the company a platform to sell its broader range of regulatory technology solutions, already deployed to its UK client base, to companies which use Wells Fargo ‎for share registration services.
Equiniti, which handled aspects of Royal Mail’s controversial privatisation in 2013, also provides payment services to pension schemes, as well as other administrative services to corporate clients.
The company, which used to be owned by the private equity firm Advent International, listed on the London stock market in 2015.

It now has a market value of more than £750m, having seen its shares rise by 45% during the last year.
That contrasts with the fortunes of other outsourcers, such as Capita and Mitie, both of which have ousted their chief executives after a string of profit warnings.
Equiniti’s UK-based clients include Imperial Brands, Sainsbury’s, National Express and the NHS.
Its chief executive, Guy Wakeley, has run the company since 2014.
Equiniti announced earlier this month that Philip Yea, a former boss of the investment group 3i, would become its new chairman in the autumn.
Employing more than 4000 people, Equiniti’s biggest shareholders include Woodford In‎vestment Management, the asset manager headed by Neil Woodford.
Equiniti declined to comment on Tuesday evening.

Source: Sky

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