Plans at Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL) to raise £16.75 million from shareholders so it can upgrade football pitches and clubhouses are receiving the thumbs up from investors.

Shares rose 3.4% to 107p on the back of the announcement and now trade 7% higher than the 100p institutions are paying to back the fundraising.

Shares flagged the turnaround opportunity at Goals, as well as a likely equity raise, at 100p a share on 12 May.

GOALS SOCCER CENTRES - Comparison Line Chart (Rebased to first)

Goals, valued at £60 million, has struggled over the past year because of weather-related profit warnings and loss of market share to competitors.

Executive chairman Nick Basing blames the performance on under-investment in Goals' sites, which include 46 in the UK and one in the US.

Around £3.5 million will be invested in playing surfaces and floodlights, £7.9 million in upgraded clubhouses and £2.6 million to open a second location in the US.

Goals is targeting returns on capital, as measured by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), of 30% on pitches, 15% on clubhouses and 20% on the US soccer centre.

Reducing debt was another reason for the fund raise.

Net debt/EBITDA after the share offer is expected to fall from 3 times to 1.6 times. Covenants on Goals' borrowing facilities kick in at 3 times net debt/EBITDA.

Issue Date: 03 Jun 2016