STJ Advisors acted as independent advisor on Oaktree Capital Management’s third sell-down in Countryside Plc, a leading UK housebuilder, raising c. £230m. A base offering of 58.5m shares representing 13% of the company was launched after the market close on Thursday 30th November with a price guidance of 340p. The transaction was well received, with books covered in c. 30 minutes post launch leading to an upsize to 67.5m shares, representing 15% of the company.
The transaction took advantage of the short pre-Christmas window post results and investor roadshow and the UK budget announcement which further supported the Countryside investment proposition. Allocations were focused on existing shareholders and wall-crossed accounts and constituted a very strong support for the current register. Oaktree retain a c.8.0% shareholding.
Pricing at 340p represented a 6.7% discount to the previous close (and a 3.9% discount to the 30 day VWAP). Countryside’s share price had appreciated considerably since its latest results on 22nd November, up by 7.4%. The placement price represented a 51% premium to the IPO price (225p) and a 10% premium to the last Oaktree sell-down in May 2017 (310p, a premium to the then-current share price).
STJ advised on all key aspects of the placement including timing, syndicate management, investor targeting, sizing, pricing and allocations. STJ has now advised Oaktree on Countryside’s £349m Initial Public Offering in February 2016 and all three subsequent sell downs of £104m (January 2017), £321m (May 2017) and this sale.