Centrica shares hit as it taps markets for £750 millionComments Off on Centrica shares hit as it taps markets for £750 million
British Gas owner Centrica made inroads into its £4.4 billion debt pile today as it raised £750 million through a share placing.
Centrica is also using £350 million of the proceeds to buy two firms, including the £200 million deal for Danish energy trader Neas Energy revealed last month.
The move sent its shares tumbling 8%, or 18p, to 213.2p, making it the FTSE 100’s biggest faller.
With gas and oil prices at record lows, Centrica made a pre-tax loss of £1.1 billion last year and its credit rating is under pressure. Its British Gas arm lost more than 200,000 customers in the first three months.
Chief executive Iain Conn unveiled plans to cut 6000 jobs over several years and said the company would refocus from expensive upstream exploration to offering more consumer services.
It said while it was committed to refocusing the group, “the external environment means this is not straightforward, and reallocation of resources towards its customer-facing businesses is currently running below targeted levels”.
The shares have fallen by more than 40% over the past three years, amid falling gas prices and competition from online energy suppliers.