Kier rights issue struggles

Contractor Kier's rights issue has struggled to attract interest, with only 37.66% of the total number of new shares taken up by investors.

Kier said the joint bookrunners on the rights issue “will endeavour to procure subscribers for the remaining 40,179,421 new shares not validly taken up”, but will acquire any remaining new shares if no subscribers can be found.

"Following the completion of the £250m rights issue, Kier enters 2019 with a strong balance sheet which puts us in an excellent competitive position,” said chief executive Haydn Mursell.

The shares were initially discounted compared to the share price at launch, but the firm's stock fell to 385p per share over the course of the rights issue – below the 409p offered.

Mursell had said that the rights issue had been driven by a “change in sentiment from the credit markets towards the UK construction sector”, adding that a number of lenders had suggested they would be reducing their exposure to the sector.