(Bloomberg) -- Meggitt Plc is considering selling as much as $600 million of new stock as it prepares for another wave of the coronavirus outbreak that’s hobbled its planemaker clients, according to people familiar with the matter.
The U.K. engineering group is working with advisers to review equity and debt funding options, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. One measure under consideration is a share sale equal to as much as 20% of the company’s issued capital, they said.
An offering could be announced as early as this month, the people said. No final decisions have been made, and Meggitt may also choose not to proceed with a transaction, they said. A representative for the company declined to comment.
Meggitt said in July it has made “good progress” in reducing its cost base and preserving cash to underpin its liquidity position. The company is on track to cut cash outflows by as much as 450 million pounds ($591 million) this year, according to an exchange statement at the time. It said it had about 1.63 billion pounds of committed facilities in place at the end of May.
The company manufactures components for the aerospace, defense and energy industries and has seen demand for its products badly affected by Covid-19. Revenue in the airline industry has evaporated amid restrictions on global travel and a number of Meggitt’s aerospace clients, including Boeing Co., Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and Honeywell International Inc., have sought additional funding to shore up their balance sheets.
Shares of Meggitt have fallen 55% this year through Wednesday, giving it a market value of about 2.3 billion pounds. The benchmark FTSE 250 index has declined 19% over the period. Meggitt said in March it would pull a planned dividend to better manage its cash flow.
U.K.-listed companies have been given extra leeway to raise larger amounts of new equity amid the downturn. The country’s financial standard-setters recommended in April that shareholders support companies that want to sell new stock equal to as much as 20% of their issued capital -- double the usual ceiling.
Firms including Informa Plc, Compass Group Plc and Asos Plc have sold about 14.4 billion pounds in additional equity since then, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, a more than threefold increase from the same period in 2019. The looser rules on share sales are set to expire at the end of September unless they’re extended.
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