3 August, 2005

Completion of Refinancing

Ashtead Group plc, the international equipment rental group serving the construction, industrial and homeowner markets, announced a refinancing on 7 July 2005 and the Company is pleased to announce its completion today. The refinancing included:

  • the raising of approximately £70 million before expenses through the Placing and Open Offer of approximately 73.4 million New Ordinary Shares at 95.5 pence per share; and
  • the raising of $250 million (approximately £142 million), before expenses, by the issue of New Senior Loan Notes, which carry an interest rate of 8 5/8 % and will be repayable in full in August 2015.

Dealings in the New Ordinary Shares have now commenced. Following the Placing and Open Offer a total of 400.2 million Ordinary Shares are in issue.

From the proceeds of the refinancing, Ashtead has now repaid the Convertible Loan Note at a discount of approximately 11% and will redeem £42 million of the existing Senior Loan Notes, which carry interest at a rate of 12%.

Together these transactions have:

  • further de-leveraged the balance sheet and reduce borrowing costs;
  • further extended the average debt maturity to approximately 7 years;
  • avoided the potential dilution to existing shareholders which would occur if the Convertible Loan Note were to convert into equity;
  • broadened the investor base; and
  • facilitated the payment of dividends in the future.

The Board believes that the stronger capital base created by the refinancing will also provide significantly greater flexibility in developing the Group over the coming years.

George Burnett, Chief Executive said:

“We are particularly pleased to have received such a strong vote of confidence from both debt and equity investors.”

“The successful conclusion of the refinancing means Ashtead is now well placed to take full advantage of continuing strong market conditions and also to resume the payment of dividends. We look forward to reporting further progress in the coming year.”

Terms used in this Announcement shall have the same meanings as set out in the Prospectus dated 7 July 2005.


Ashtead Group plc


Cob Stenham

George Burnett

Ian Robson

Non-executive chairman

Chief Executive Officer

Finance Director

020 7299 5562

01372 362300

JPMorgan Cazenove Limited

(Financial adviser, sponsor, joint broker and joint bookrunner)

Julian Oakley

Dermot McKechnie

020 7588 2828

Evolution Securities Limited

(Joint broker, joint bookrunner and joint underwriter)

Steve Roberts

Stuart Andrews

020 7071 4300

The Maitland Consultancy

Brian Hudspith

Emma Burdett

020 7379 5151