JLIF to tap market for £31m fundraise

The listed vehicle said it is placing over 29m ordinary shares to help repay debt used in new acquisitions and capitalise on a ‘buoyant’ PPP/PFI secondary market. Parent John Laing will also seek to sell close to 5% of its 23% share in JLIF in a secondary placing.

John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF), a listed UK investor in public-private partnerships (PPP) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes, announced last week that it is seeking to raise close to £31 million (€38 million; $50 million) to repay debt used to finance new acquisitions and help fund future purchases.

The listed vehicle plans to issue roughly 29.38 million new ordinary shares – equivalent to some 9.9 percent of JLIF’s issued ordinary share capital – at 105.5 pence per share. 

JLIF said it will use part of the proceeds to repay debt used for its most recent acquisitions – a 100 percent stake in Roseberry Park Hospital for £13 million, already completed, and a 15 percent interest in Newcastle Hospital for £10 million, expected to close during the second quarter of the year. The rest of the money raised will be used to capitalise on a “buoyant secondary market for operational PFI/PPP projects”.

In a statement, JLIF said that parent developer John Laing will seek to place up to 14.28 million shares – amounting to some 4.8 percent of JLIF – in a secondary placing. The developer had originally acquired a 23.1 percent stake in JLIF when the latter raised £270 million and listed on the London Stock Exchange at the end of November 2010.

“JLIF has grown rapidly since its launch in November 2010, investing in a portfolio which now comprises 34 projects and delivering total returns to our shareholders of 13.76 percent to April 25, 2012. The fast moving secondary market presents a number of opportunities for JLIF and the [new] placing will provide us with greater flexibility to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise,” commented Paul Lester, JLIF’s chairman.

JLIF’s portfolio has an estimated value of £425 million. The fund has a long-term internal rate of return target of 7 to 8 percent.