Challenger Limited confirms $300m capital raising

By Tony Zhang|24 June 2020
Philippa Stone

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Challenger Limited on its capital raising.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Challenger Limited).

Deal: Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Challenger Limited (Challenger) on its capital raising, comprising a fully underwritten $270 million institutional placement and a non-underwritten share purchase plan to raise up to $30 million.

Challenger is an ASX-listed investment management firm focusing on providing customers with financial security for retirement. 

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Value: $300 million.

Area: Capital raising.

Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Philippa Stone, who was supported by special counsel Rob Finlay, and solicitors Michael Burrell, Jennie Bian, Shananne Joyce and Scott Preswick. 

HSF’s Australian team worked closely with the Challenger legal team, including general counsel and chief executive group strategy, Michael Vardanega, and his colleagues Aron Rattew (head of legal, corporate and investments) and Katrina Nicholls (senior legal counsel), as well as with Herbert Smith Freehills’ US securities lawyers, including partner Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan and senior associate Jin Kong.

Deal significance: The capital raising will further strengthen Challenger’s capital position and provide flexibility to enhance earnings.

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The group was seeking to raise $270 million in a placement via Macquarie Capital and Goldman Sachs on Monday morning.

The placement was at $4.89 a share which was an 8.1 per cent discount to the last close, according to terms sent to funds.

The deal was to be followed by a share purchase plan worth up to another $30 million.

Challenger said the capital raised would primarily back investment-grade fixed-income opportunities that were expected to be return on equity accretive for shareholders.

“Challenger is in a strong capital position with the raising further strengthening CLC’s balance sheet, and providing the opportunity to seek out compelling ROE accretive investment opportunities over time,” the firm’s managing director and chief executive, Richard Howes said.

We are delighted to have assisted Challenger on this successful transaction, which will strongly position the company for the future. The placement has been significantly oversubscribed, and we are proud to have been involved,” Ms Stone, co-head of Australian equity capital markets said.

Macquarie Capital (Australia) Limited and Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Limited acted as underwriters to the placement.

Challenger Limited confirms $300m capital raising
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