Budget carrier Fastjet aims to raise 15 million pounds through share sale

Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:51pm EDT

(Reuters) - African budget airline Fastjet Plc (FJET.L) said it has raised 11 million pounds ($18 million) through placements, including 1 million pounds from billionaire Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and plans to raise up to a further 4 million pounds through an offer to all shareholders.

The London-listed company also said it expected adjusted pretax operating loss to widen to about $47 million for fiscal 2013 and revenue to rise to $53 million.

Fastjet shares closed down about 7 percent at 1.65 pence on Thursday after the company said it priced the placement at 1.6 pence per share, an 11 percent discount to the stock's closing on Wednesday.

The carrier said it had privately placed 687.5 million shares and that it would offer shareholders up to 250 million more shares at the same price to raise a further 4 million pounds.

In all, the new shares issued would more than double the company's share count.

Fastjet, which aspires to be the first pan-African low-cost carrier, said it would use proceeds from the offerings to buy more aircraft and add more international routes.

The company has licensed the Fastjet brand from easyGroup Holdings, the private investment vehicle of Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Fastjet said easyGroup had also agreed to do away with a 4.3 million pounds licensing fee in exchange for a further 1.51 million pounds worth of shares in the company.

Fastjet also said it had ended an equity financing facility with shareholder Darwin Strategic Ltd.

($1 = 0.5961 British pounds)

(Reporting by Richa Naidu and Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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