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Solution: Turn over the keys to rockstar easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall.
EasyHotel, the discount hotel chain founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has raised just £30m from its listing on London’s junior stock exchange.
This is half the £60m of new money the company said it was looking for when it announced its intention float on Aim in May.
The company raised £22m from a placing of 27.7m shares with institutions and £7.8m from Sir Stelios’s easyGroup – £4.8m from converting a loan into equity and £3.1m in the placing, according to a statement.
The listing of easyHotel marks Sir Stelios’ first flotation in 14 years when he first debuted his budget airline easyJet on the stock exchange.
“I anticipate I will remain a significant and supportive shareholder [in easyHotel] for a very long time,” he said on Wednesday.
Sir Stelios, who had planned to dilute his full ownership of easyHotel to a minority stake in the IPO, will now own 55.7pc of the group going forward, with new shareholders holding 44.3pc.
Trading in the group is expected to start on June 30 under the ticker “EZH”.
Sir Stelios launched the budget hotel chain in 2004 under his easyGroup umbrella brand. The business now has 19 hotels, 17 of which are franchises, spread from Edinburgh to Johannesburg and Dubai including seven hotels in London.
The “super budget” hotel company has secured a 50-year agreement with Stelios for use of the “easy” brand.
At the time that easyHotel announced its intention to float, Simon Champion, the chief executive, said he was not concerned by wobbles in London’s IPO market which had forced retailer Fat Face to scrap its listing and over-50s lifestyle group Saga’s flotation to flop.
The market for IPOs continues to be mixed. Challenger bank TSB smashed expectations on Friday when its shares surged as much as 15pc on its stock market debut, while AA, the roadside assistance provider and motor insurer, suffered a disappointing first day with its shares dropping 7.2pc on Monday.