Goals Soccer Centres' fundraiser scores in the City

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City institutions were jostling in the box to get a piece of Goals Soccer Centres today, betting that its cash injection will lift the five-a-side footie operator off the bottom of the table.

The embattled company, which has 47 kickabout sites including one in Los Angeles, posted its first annual loss for 12 years in March and has since been rebuilding the team, with a new chief executive and brought in new non-executive directors including the boss of Inter Milan.

Today, Goals, whose market value has shrunk to only £60 million, bolstered the balance sheet with a £16.75 million placing at 100p a share, which — although at a slight discount — encouraged the stock to rise 3p to 106.5p.

Instead of making new signings (buying new sites), the funds will go towards improving the existing squad (refurbishing existing facilities). Square Mile heavyweights Henderson and Schroders are thought to be among the investors that beefed up their stakes in the placing, which has kickstarted a four-year turnaround plan. 

The strategic review, revealed alongside the placing, was not to everyone’s liking though. Broker N+1 Singer downgraded the shares from Buy to Hold, questioning whether the plans and funding are radical enough to outshine rival Powerleague.

There were more winners than losers today as the FTSE 100 rose 56.33 points to 6241.94 with improving oil and metals prices lifting spirits going into the weekend. 

Brent crude climbed back above $50 a barrel, helping BP up 8.5p to 361.6p and Royal Dutch Shell up 30p at 1695p. Shell is set to issue a strategic update on Tuesday — its first since its £36 billion takeover of BG completed.

Marks & Spencer drifted 1.3p lower to 355.3p as JPMorgan Cazenove downgraded the retailer to underweight.

The broker says that 10 years ago M&S slashed the prices of its clothes by 6% in a move which boosted sales by 14%.

This time round M&S is cutting prices by only 2% in a much tougher environment, JP Morgan says. “Volume uplifts are therefore likely to be materially lower than in the past,” it adds.

It now predicts that underlying profits, which have been on the rise for the last two years, will decline again this year.

Imperial Leather soap maker PZ Cussons slipped 12.5p to 328p as Canaccord urged clients to take profits ahead of next week’s annual trading update on the back of a 15% surge from the shares in 2016. Business is expected to have remained tough in Nigeria, its largest market.

As expected, AIM minnow SeaEnergy went into administration and marine engineer James Fisher, up 46p at 1356p, snapped up its Return to Scene visual software business for £1.9 million.

Source Article from http://www.standard.co.uk/business/goals-soccer-centres-fundraiser-scores-in-the-city-a3263526.html

June 4, 2016 |
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