Ashurst, Links brew up £207m rights issue for Greene King

Ashurst and Linklaters have advised on the £207m rights issue for pub operator and brewer Greene King that will enable it to raise money to buy more properties.

Ashurst and Linklaters have advised on the £207m rights issue for pub operator and brewer Greene King that will enable it to raise money to buy more properties.

The rights issue is a first for the pub sector. Although secondary equity markets have been busy over recent months, until now most have been in the real estate and financial sectors.

Linklaters corporate partner Robert Cleaver, who worked with client relationship partner Jeremy Parr, argued that Greene King has benefited from being the first in its field to carry out a capital raising.

“It was a significant transaction and it got a positive reception from the market,” he said. “They’re the first in the pub sector to do a capital raising. It’s always easier if you’re the first in line.”

It was a relatively unusual move for Linklaters to advise an issuer. Apart from large instructions by Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland on their cash calls, Linklaters has tended to advise underwriters.

Ashurst advised Deutsche Bank as joint sponsor and sole bookrunner and Lazard & Co as joint sponsor. Its team was led by corporate partner Nigel Stacey. He said Ashurst was invited to pitch as a result of a good working relationship with both advisees. Stacey was joined by US partners Daniel Bushner on corporate issues and David Nirenberg on tax.