This is my third post on the topic of Lloyds upcoming rights issue. My aim is to provide a little clarification for those affected. Why am I doing this? Despite everything, I still believe in a “share-owning democracy”.
The Guardian’s Patrick Collinson wrote this recently:
“An equitable figurehead
In recruiting Honor Blackman as a Joanna Lumley-esque figurehead, the Equitable Members Action Group has chosen well. With-profits annuitants such as Blackman, who had no choice but to stay with Equitable, have suffered more than any other category of policyholder. The others were given a choice in 2000 to get out with a 10% cut in policy values. Those that didn’t take it want compensation galore instead. Are they really that deserving of taxpayer money?” [my stress]
Maybe I’m a bear of little brain, but the Equitable Life non-GAR with-profits policy-holders have had a large chunk of their assets arbitrarily confiscated – a court put the rights of GAR holders above theirs. If this doesn’t deserve compensation, I don’t know what does. More another time.
The lesson I take from this is that you’d better look after your own finances because you can’t trust the media to look out for you when the pros screw up.
When Lloyds announced their upcoming rights issue my initial reaction was to whinge about the complexity of “deferred shares”, which I concluded are worthless, just a device to get round some stupid rule.
I have no idea why Lloyds didn’t spell out in the various documents they’ve issued about the rights issue that you’ll need to find ~50p per existing share to take up your entitlement to new shares. If I may be permitted to give them some feedback as a shareholder, my opinion is that it would have been a good idea to specifically include the amount of money shareholders would need to find. Perhaps those involved and the officers of any other company doing something similar in future could bear this point in mind.
In my second post on the subject I also presented the argument that a rights issue can temporarily depress a company’s share price so might be a good time to buy shares either by subscribing to the issue or otherwise. [Nothing I write on this blog should be taken as financial advice].
From the search terms that are being used to reach this blog, there are two other significant areas of confusion: the timetable and the use of the term “theoretical ex-rights price” (TERP) to determine the issue price of the new shares.
As I understand it, for the retail investor there are only 3 key dates and the first of these appears to be another anachronism (this whole process could do with a bit of simplification):
– 20th November (Friday): the “Record Date” for entitlement to receive rights. If you’re planning to buy shares near or after this date, then, if I were you, I’d check with a financial adviser or stockbroker as to whether the deal will be in time to qualify and whether there’ll be any extra bureaucratic hassle. The Prospectus says this:
“7 If I buy Ordinary Shares after the Record Date will I be eligible to participate in the Rights Issue?
If you bought [sic] Ordinary Shares after the Record Date but prior to 8.00 a.m. on 27 November 2009 (the time when the Existing Ordinary Shares are expected to start trading ex-rights on the London Stock Exchange), you may be eligible to participate in the Rights Issue.
If you are in any doubt, please consult your stockbroker, bank or other appropriate financial adviser, or whoever arranged your share purchase, to ensure you claim your entitlement.
If you buy Ordinary Shares at or after 8.00 a.m. on 27 November 2009, you will not be eligible to participate in the Rights Issue in respect of those Ordinary Shares.”
So what’s the point of the Record Date if it’s not a real deadline?
– 27th November (Friday), 8am: rights created and can be traded or exercised. This is when I’d expect them to appear in (online) nominee accounts.
– 11th December (Friday), 11am: rights must be exercised by this time, though if you have a nominee account they’ll probably advise you of a deadline earlier than this. The new shares can be traded from start of business on the Monday (14th December).
The Lloyds Prospectus (p.6) implies that the:
“…Issue Price [will] be set at a 38 per cent. to 42 per cent. discount to TERP…”
They also define the TERP as:
“the theoretical ex-rights price of an Existing Ordinary Share calculated by reference to the volume weighted average price on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities of an Existing Ordinary Share on 23 November 2009”.
I thought I understood how to work out the TERP, but tried to check anyway. Wikipedia’s entry is little help. It doesn’t seem to me to contain any falsehood, but then it doesn’t provide a lot of information either.
Unfortunately, Wikipedia references something called Investopedia which has this to say:
“Although the stock price is not likely to change immediately following the new rights issue, it will change as the rights expiration date approaches.”
Rubbish. No wonder we’re all confused!
The whole point is that as soon as the existing shares are split into ex-rights shares and (nil-paid) rights (at 8am on 27th November in the case of Lloyds), the (ex-rights) share price adjusts – to the TERP – to reflect the split. The rights should theoretically trade at approximately the TERP minus the subscription price for each right (i.e. how much you have to pay to exercise the right). Once all the rights are exercised, which they will be, since rights issues are underwritten, the new shares will be identical to the existing shares and should trade at the TERP, plus or minus the effect of any changes in sentiment due to events after the start of the rights issue or just because sentiment changes. I say “should” trade at the TERP, because there’s also the effect of the additional supply of shares, which may depress the share price below the TERP, as I discussed last time.
So what would we expect the TERP to be for Lloyds?
This is how I think the TERP should be calculated.
At present the shares are trading, handily, at exactly 90p. If we round down to 27 billion in circulation, Lloyds is currently worth £24.3bn.
The rights issue involves putting in more money (£13.5bn less £500m expenses) and creating more shares – we don’t know how many yet.
After the rights issue Lloyds should theoretically be worth £(24.3+13)bn = £37.3bn.
The TERP depends on how many new shares are created. For example, if the new shares are priced at 50p, there will be another 27bn. There will therefore be 54bn in circulation after the rights issue and each share would be worth £37.3/54 = ~69.1p.
In this case the rights would be expected to trade at around 19.1p.
If, in this example, the rights were trading at less than 19.1p or the shares at less than 69.1p after the start of the rights issue, then the implication is either Lloyds’ prospects have changed, or the rights issue has reduced the share price.
Lloyds say they want the rights price to be at a ~40% discount to the TERP. 50p is therefore too much (it’s more than 0.6*69.1p). You could iterate to an appropriate price but I expect they did some algebra:
No. of shares after issue = 27bn + 13.5bn/P (where P is the price of the rights issue)
TERP = (Share price before issue (known, let’s take this to be 90p, as now) * 27bn + £13bn) / no. shares after issue
P = 0.6 * TERP
Therefore, P/0.6 = £(24.3+13)/(27 + 13.5/P)
P (27 + £13.5/P) = £37.3*0.6
27P + £13.5 = £22.4
P = £(22.4 – 13.5)/27 = £8.9/27, i.e. 33p.
and TERP = 33p/0.6 = 55p
Check: No. shares after issue = (27 + 13.5/0.33)bn = 67.9bn
TERP = £(37.3/67.9) = 55p
Easy, peasy! [But see Note below]
So, if Lloyds shares are trading at 90p on 23rd November (the date Lloyds is using for their calculation), I’d expect the the rights to be priced at around 33p (I’ve indulged in a little rounding, so let’s not try to be too accurate now) and the TERP will be around 55p.
It’s quite possible I’ve made a horrendous error (or even more than one). If so, I’ll be happy to post a correction if someone points it out. [22:00 12/11: I’ve already corrected a small error I spotted myself!]
[Note (18:30 24/11): As discussed in a later post, Lloyds have actually gone for a rights price of 37p, implying a “TERP” of ~60.24p. The difference from my estimate is due to a number of factors:
– some rounding down on my part;
– my assumption of a 90p share price before the issue. Lloyds took the closing price of 91.47p on 23rd (even though they said they’d take the average share price that day);
– Lloyds priced the rights issue towards the bottom of the 38-42% range of discount to the “TERP” they’d announced – ~38.6% – whereas I assumed a 40% discount;
– I deducted the £500m in fees from the proceeds of the rights issue – this shouldn’t really have been done (and has a significant effect, showing how much those fees are costing shareholders), but then again, the only true TERP is that calculated on the closing price just before the rights are created.]