Billionaire-Backed Just Energy Plunges on Plan to Remain Solo

Just Energy Group Inc. plunged Wednesday after concluding a strategic review along with a share consolidation plan.

The company launched a formal review last summer following expressions of interest from a number of parties. Just Energy plans to remain independent, according to a statement Wednesday morning.

Shares of the energy utility sank as much as 29% intraday in Toronto, the most since March 20. Canadian billionaire Jim Pattison’s Great Pacific Capital Corp. owns about 16% of the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Pattison reported his stake in 2015.

Additionally, Just Energy announced a recapitalization plan, including C$100 million in new equity commitment, and debt reduction by about C$275 million.

“This comprehensive plan to strengthen and de-risk our business will result in a much stronger Just Energy, creating a sustainable capital structure,” CEO Scott Gahn said.

Billionaire-Backed Just Energy Plunges on Plan to Remain Solo

BMO Capital Markets provided a fairness opinion for the company’s recap plan, which is expected to be implemented in September.

“We believe the proposed reorganization plan is a positive development as it keeps the company solvent,” Nelson Ng, an analyst at RBC, told clients in a note.

The share consolidation leaves RBC skeptical. “However, the 1-for-33 share consolidation and the ‘New Equity Subscription Opportunity’ that gives stakeholders the right to purchase new shares at C$3.412/share implies a current price of ~C$0.10/share,” Ng said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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