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easyJet: shares plunge after funding plan

( - easyJet shares have tumbled in London on Thursday after the low-cost airline announced a plan to strengthen its balance sheet, including a 1.
2 billion pound capital increase.

Half an hour into trading, the airline's shares were down over 8%, the second biggest faller in the FTSE 250 index, bringing its YTD fall to around 8%.

The capital increase announced this morning is intended to provide the group with the means to return to its pre-pandemic capacity by 2023.

The fundraising - fully underwritten by banks BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Santander and Société Générale - was based on a subscription price of 410p per share, i.e. a discount of almost 36% relative to the share's closing price yesterday.

In addition to the capital increase, easyJet says it also plans to sign a new 400 million dollar revolving credit facility as part of its financing plan.

More surprisingly, the company said in its statement that it had been approached for a possible takeover, an "unsolicited" offer which the group rejected because of the "low premium" offered by the undisclosed buyer.

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