Barita completes $13.5-billion raise in additional equity despite COVID-19


Barita completes $13.5-billion raise in additional equity despite COVID-19

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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FOLLOWING an oversubscription of its initial $9-billion additional public offering (APO) of shares last week, Barita Investment Limited said it has raised the record $13.5 billion in capital, after an upsizing of the offer.

The company said the move was a successful one given the significant participation of investors despite the devastating impacts brought on by the coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic along with its contracting effects of the local economy.

“The successful capital raise of $13.5 billion is the largest public equity raised by a private sector company in Jamaica and represents the largest APO ever listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE),” the company said, while noting also that based on the current market prices, this offer will push the investment firm among the top 10 largest companies listed on the JSE by market capitalisation.

The successful APO would also make Barita the largest listed securities dealer in Jamaica by market capitalisation and by shareholder's equity.

According to the company's deputy chairman, Paul Simpson, “the success of our APO was largely due to the efforts of the leadership team, who, during this unprecedented period, was able to successfully execute a landmark transaction in the Jamaican capital markets. The team's performance brings to mind a quote… Rough seas make good sailors'”.

The project was spearheaded by a hard-working team led by Simpson along with the executive support of General Manager Paula Barclay and Terise Kettle, vice-president in charge of investment banking.

Simpson, also reflecting on the discounted prices offered, said that he was particularly happy about the addition which was able to create investment opportunities for small investors and front line workers.

“During unprecedented times, where individuals' investment capacity would have fallen and weakened as a result of this ongoing pandemic; this successful raise undoubtedly reflects unwavering investor confidence in the Barita brand,” he said.

“The market clearly believes in us and we will continue to move from strength to strength with that wind beneath our wings,” added Ramon Small-Ferguson, vice-president of asset management & research.

“Investors can look forward to future performances from the company as it intends to diversify its mix of products in addition to delivering differentiation in value. The company originally offered the APO to expand the capacity within its investment banking business along with the creation of additional physical locations locally while also considering expansion into the region. Another need expressed in the prospectus, is to provide an omni channel of financial services for its growing client base through a technological overhaul,” the release also stated.

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