Taylor & Francis owner Informa issues shares as coronavirus hits business

Taylor & Francis owner Informa issues shares as coronavirus hits business

Taylor & Francis owner Informa has launched an issue of shares worth 19.9% of its existing capital as the coronavirus pandemic hits its events business.

The company announced it was suspending its dividend and applying for the Bank of England's Covid Corporate Finance Facility, as it bids to increase total liquidity to more than £2.3bn. It has also announced a recruitment freeze, the removal of discretionary costs like travel, and a board and leadership salary cut of between 33% and 25%.

In a trading update, Informa said the Covid-19 outbreak had hit its events-related business—which makes up around 65% of revenue—particularly hard. However, the company said its subscriptions business, which includes Taylor & Francis, remained “resilient and predictable” with strong renewals.

“Across these information businesses, the group has moved quickly to make relevant information and data available to support the scientific and medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said. “This includes the creation of open access microsites by both Taylor & Francis and Pharma Intelligence, including links and references to all relevant articles, books, data, analysis and information published by these businesses.”

Stephen Carter, Informa's group chief executive, said: "Since the beginning of 2020, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has become progressively deeper and more far-reaching than initially predicted. We have continued to adapt and respond quickly, always prioritising the safety of colleagues and customers, making decisions for the long-term value of our brands and businesses and seeking to preserve jobs and invest in our intellectual property."

He added: "the strength of our specialist brands and customer relationships continues to provide confidence in our long-term value. However, in the near-term, we are facing material disruption in our events-related businesses, with expectations for a gradual and phased recovery.

"Today we are taking action to stay ahead of this by building further stability and strength across our business. Through a range of measures, further reducing direct and indirect costs, supporting colleagues and fully securing our finances, we are ensuring we can continue to manage Informa in the best interests of its long-term stability and strength."