Time Out Group plans £15m equity raise as pandemic takes its toll

30 March 2021 by
Time Out Group plans £15m equity raise as pandemic takes its toll

Time Out Group is planning to launch a £15m equity raise to help it emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in "a stronger position".

The company's finances were hit hard over the past year due to the closure of its food markets and the decline in advertising spend across its media arm.

It posted an operating loss of £14.9m for the six months to 31 December 2020 with gross revenue falling 74% from 2019 to £13.3m.

Last week the company pulled out of the development of a 500-seat market in London's Waterloo, which was expected to open this year.

Though the group has cash reserves of £6.7m as of 28 February 2021, its directors are seeking additional funds to give the company more financial flexibility.

Time Out Group plans to raise £15m by way of a firm placing, a retail offer, a conditional placing and a placing and open offer of 42,857,661 new ordinary shares at 35p per share. It is expected this will complete in April and will be underpinned by a cornerstone investment from Lombard Odier.

Julio Bruno, chief executive of Time Out Group, said: "Sadly, as a result of the pandemic, some hospitality businesses will not return. However, thanks to our supportive investors and the equity fundraise announced today, which we expect to complete in April, our Time Out Markets will flourish again as chefs and customers alike eagerly await a return to our unique fine food and cultural experience.

"With the accelerated change of the retail environment, commercial landlords and real estate developers face the increasing challenge of attracting customers to their locations, thus they are looking to our markets to transform their spaces and drive footfall.

"Time Out is part of the solution and, as we have seen with the recent agreement for a new Time Out Market in Abu Dhabi, we are confident of signing more such agreements in the year ahead."

Time Out Group opened its first food market in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2014, which welcomed 4.1m visitors in 2019. It has since opened in Miami, New York, Boston, Montreal and Chicago with a pipeline of sites including Dubai, Porto and Prague.

It has been aiming to open a site in London's Spitalfields for several years, but has yet to secure planning permission.

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