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Warehouse raises $100M from institutions

Warehouse raises $100 mln from institutions for financial services expansion

March 7 (BusinessDesk) - Warehouse Group, the country’s biggest listed retailer, successfully raised $100 million from institutional investors to help fund its drive into financial services.

The Auckland-based company sold the shares at $3.23, an 11 percent discount to its last trading price, to 15 local and Australian institutions and a broad range of eligible New Zealand retail investors, it said in a statement. The settlement date for the new shares is March 13. It will launch a share purchase plan to raise a further $15 million from existing investors on March 24.

“It is pleasing to see the market has recognised the value of our move into financial services,” chief executive Mark Powell said. “Investors have signalled that they endorse our business strategy and we are looking forward to extending the offer to eligible shareholders via the share purchase plan.”

Warehouse raised the funds yesterday to bolster its balance sheet as it looks to take a $3 million stake in Diners Club New Zealand and beef up its financial services offering. It had cash and equivalents of $42.6 million as at Jan. 26, generating net cash inflow of $19.9 million in the six month period after boosting its operational cash flow 64 percent.

The retailer hopes to emulate the likes of Target Corp and Tesco by encouraging customers to buy more of its products.

It expects to have $600 million of receivables by the 2020 financial year. The company currently generates about $400 million of receivables for third parties and its joint venture.

The shares will resume trading today, closing at $3.61 on Wednesday, and have slipped 3.5 percent this year.


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