New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment Group has announced a series of liquidity-focused initiatives, including NZ$230 million in new equity, aimed at strengthening the company’s balance sheet as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new equity will comprise a NZ$180 million fully underwritten placement to institutional and other selected investors plus a share purchase plan for eligible shareholders in Australia and New Zealand to raise another NZ$50 million.
On top of the NZ$230 million in new equity, SkyCity has secured new debt facilities of NZ$160 million and will extend existing bank facilities by NZ$170 million.
It has also been granted covenant waivers from existing lenders for the 31 December 2020 and 30 June 2021 testing periods, and has suspended future dividend payments until at least 30 June 2021.
“Over the past few months, SkyCity has faced challenges which have impacted the business and operations, particularly the disruption caused by COVID-19,” said SkyCity Chairman Rob Campbell.
“Despite encouraging trading since reopening in New Zealand, the outlook remains uncertain as we adjust to new social and economic settings. Accordingly, the SkyCity board has resolved to increase liquidity and to provide additional financial flexibility for the business to protect against the prospect of a slower or more protracted recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
“The equity raising will ensure that SkyCity remains appropriately capitalised and provides certainty to allow for the delivery of the strategic plan for the business.”
SkyCity reopened its New Zealand properties on 14 May following a seven-week closure.