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Marks and Spencer Group PLC

Marks and Spencer rights issue receives lukewarm response, but rump placed easily

Never mind eight out of 10 cats ... barely eight out of 10 M&S shareholders wanted new shares, even at a discount

M&S lingerie model
The response to the rights issue was, to use a nineties phrase, "a bit pants"

Struggling retailer Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS) saw its shares remain lower on Thursday following a disappointing response to its recent rights issue, although brokers managed to offload the rump left of the cash call fairly easily.

In a statement this morning, the FTSE 100-listed company said around 85.14% of the shares on offer were taken up by shareholders leaving the underwriters to do the thing they are paid for, which is to find buyers for the near 15% or so of shares that existing M&S investors did not want.

READ M&S confirms £600mln rights issue and dividend cut to fund Ocado joint venture

In a subsequent statement, the group added that those underwriters - Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, HSBC, and Shore Capital – had procured subscribers for all of the remaining 48,269,255 new ordinary shares, representing approximately 14.86% of the offering, at a price of 211p each.

The shares were offered to M&S shareholders at 185p each on the basis of one new share for every five shares currently held. In late morning trading on Thursday, M&S shares were down 1.9% at 215.10p, easing off earlier lows.

The company launched the £601.3mln rights issue last month to help fund a joint venture with groceries delivery technology specialist Ocado Group plc (LON:OCDO).

 -- Adds rump placing results, updates share price --

Quick facts: Marks and Spencer Group PLC

Price: £1.84

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £35.65 m
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