Inchcape tells investors of equity issue

CAR dealership Inchcape yesterday confirmed it was looking at a range of fund-raising options in a bid to bolster finances in the downturn.

The group told investors that a potential equity issue was being considered, but it did not say whether this would involve a rights issue or share placing.

Inchcape said trading conditions remained difficult but that it would meet expectations following its second profits warning in two months in December.

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The struggles of the group – which sells marques including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – come as new car sales in the UK dipped to their lowest annual level since 1996 last year. Total new registrations were 2,131,795 in 2008 – 11.3 per cent down on 2007, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said last week.

Inchcape is spending 85 million on restructuring plans, with 1,900 jobs going among its 17,000 workforce.

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