Carlsberg A/S has launched a fully underwritten DKK30.5bn (US$6.33bn) 1:1 rights issue. The proceeds of the rights issue will be used to repay part of the debt facilities put in place to finance its joint acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle.

"The rights issue is intended to secure Carlsberg's investment grade credit rating and financial flexibility while providing a step change in the free float of the company and the liquidity of the series B shares," the company said in a statement.

The board of directors of Carlsberg said it had resolved on yesterday (15 May) to issue 76,278,403 new series B shares of DKK20 nominal value per share. To improve the liquidity of the company's shares, only series B shares will be offered, on a pre-emptive basis to all existing shareholders of series A shares and series B shares, Carlsberg said.

The rights issue ratio will be one pre-emptive right for each Existing Share and one new share per pre-emptive right.

The shares are offered at DKK400 per offered share, representing a 40% discount to the closing price of the ordinary series B shares of DKK666 on 14 May.

Carlsberg expects to receive net proceeds of approximately DKK30.1bn and will use the net proceeds to repay the equity bridge facility of DKK 28.7bn and partially repay a term loan facility that were entered into by Carlsberg in order to finance the acquisition of certain assets of S&N.

Commenting on the Rights Issue, Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen, chief executive officer of
Carlsberg said: "The fully underwritten Rights Issue we are announcing today represents another significant milestone in Carlsberg's strategy to be a leading global brewer. The transformational acquisition of the S&N assets positions us as a truly global player with core strengths in Western Europe and leading positions in some of the world's most attractive growth markets."