By Anthony O. Goriainoff and Adam Clark
EasyJet PLC said Thursday that it would launch a fully underwritten rights issue to raise 1.2 billion pounds ($1.65 billion) and that it has secured a new $400 million credit line to repair its balance sheet and invest in growth.
The U.K.-based airline said the additional equity would restore its balance sheet position to pre-pandemic levels and enhance liquidity.
“The board has concluded that raising additional equity will protect easyJet’s long-term positioning in the European aviation sector and support growth as new opportunities arise from the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company said.
The budget airline also said the board had received an unsolicited preliminary takeover approach, and that after careful evaluation it was unanimously rejected.
“The potential bidder has since confirmed that it is no longer considering an offer for the company,” easyJet said.
The low-cost carrier said it expects capacity in the fourth quarter to be around 57% of 2019’s fourth quarter levels. It added that it expects to fly up to 60% of 2019’s first-quarter capacity in 1Q 2022.
August’s U.K. load factor for August—a measure of how full a plane is–was 82%, with intra-EU capacity at 81% of 2019’s levels and a load factor of 85%.