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Bank Rights issues: Bradford & Bingley makes three

Third rights issue in a row for UK bank is shunned.

The poor response of investors to Bradford & Bingley’s rights issue completes an ignominious hat trick of dismal capital-raisings from UK banks.

Investors took up just 28% of the £400 million-worth of new shares on offer, leaving the deal’s underwriters led by Citi and UBS and including a syndicate of the UK’s biggest banks stuck with the rest.

Although the take-ups for the recent rights issues of HBOS and Barclays were worse, at 8.3% and 19% respectively, underwriters were able to escape footing the bill thanks to a bounce in the share price of the former and the clever structure of the latter. B&B’s syndicate, however, has had to pledge to hold the stock, worth about £320 million, for almost three weeks before trying to offload it.

Lloyds TSB, HBOS, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays have sub-underwritten about £120 million-worth of stock and four large UK fund managers – Standard Life, Legal & General, M&G and Insight – underwrote about £145 million of the issue. The deal’s managers, Citi and UBS, are accountable for the rest.

The four fund managers had previously backed a rival to TPG’s investment and were encouraged by UK regulator the Financial Services Authority to take its place.

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