Jun 8, 2020

Titanic and collective effort needed to save UK companies from crisis

TheCityUK - a collection of the Square Mile's titans - calculates the weight of unsustainable debt on UK company balance sheets is above £107bn and it could turn toxic unless neutralised. Almost in the same breath, Anne Richards, head of Fidelity, warns that asset managers can't, unlike the Titan Atlas, hold up the sky and recapitalise the entire UK economy. Since mid-March when the pandemic began to hit home, 67 listed companies - 34 Aim groups and 33 main market groups - have raised just under £10bn between them, says Peel Hunt. Its 2018 acquisition of Wagamama was expensive and piled on the debt, but combined with a £57m April cash call and a portfolio of pubs, should keep the group going at a slimmed-down size. On Monday the oil group told 15 per cent of staff they would lose their livelihoods.

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