No dividend in Castellum without a major rights issue in the spring
On Monday, the real estate company Castellum, where Roger Akelius recently joined as a major shareholder, reported. What everyone was wondering about was whether there would be a dividend in Castellum. One of the first things Akelius did was to demand that the dividend be abolished. As a result, Castellum did not become Sweden’s first Dividend King, or Dividend King as it is called in Swedish. A Dividend King is a company that has been raising dividends for more than 25 years.
The report shows that Castellum increased its revenues by 18 percent and its operating surplus by nine percent. On the other hand, income from property management decreased by approximately ten percent as Castellum wrote down the value of its properties by SEK 6.4 billion, corresponding to 4.5 percent of the total value. At the same time, a new issue of SEK 10 billion is proposed, compared to the current company value of more than SEK 50 billion.
Castellum is thus at the forefront of what is likely to be a long series of new issues among real estate companies. The terms of the issue have not been communicated, but there is talk that the issue will be made at SEK 29 per share in the case of Castellum. This should be contrasted with the fact that when Castellum made its last issue in 2016, it was at a price of SEK 77, which raised a total of SEK 6.3 billion for the company.
What is it that has put Castellum in this position? It has long been said that they have been one of the safer and more secure real estate companies. We believe that it may not be as bad as it looks, but rather that Akelius wants to prepare for possibly worse times.
Akelius will provide a large part of the ten billion, and will also underwrite almost 30 percent of the issue. Akelius Residential Property AB (publ), which is the Company’s largest shareholder and represents 12.8 percent of the shares and votes in Castellum (excluding treasury shares owned by Castellum), has undertaken to subscribe for its pro rata share (12.8 percent) of the rights issue. In addition, Akelius Residential Property AB (publ) has entered into a guarantee undertaking to, subject to certain conditions, subscribe for an additional 29.1 per cent of the rights issue without subscription rights.
Note that there are great similarities with how Roger Akelius acted in Mandamus twenty years ago. In Mandamus, Akelius entered in 2003, and the dividend was also cancelled at the same time as a new issue was made. In connection with this, the share price of Mandamus fell and Akelius then bought the company out cheaply from the stock exchange. Will the same thing happen in Castellum?
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