Haitian investment for Dolla Financial

Plans to list on JSE

Friday, April 27, 2018

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Stocks and Securities (Barbados) Limited, the holding company of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), has closed on a transaction to bring in Caribbean Investor Capital (CIC) as business partner and shareholder in portfolio company Dolla Financial Services Ltd.

The deal, valuing $62.5 million, means that CIC now controls a 30 per cent stake in Dolla Financial, which provides micro loans, remittances and cambio services. Together, the companies will push loan growth and expansion of Dolla Financial.

Chief Executive Officer of SSL Mark Croskery — and a director in the holding company — also has his eyes on listing the micro-finance company on the Junior Market.

“The outlook now is end of 2018 to 2019” Croskery told the Jamaica Observer about when the listing could happen.

CIC, a private equity pioneer in Haiti, is seeking to explore investment opportunities and partnership both at the local and international levels, particularly in the Caribbean region.

The deal represents the first time that CIC has made an investment in Jamaica.

“As our first investment in Jamaica, we looked at several opportunities and selected Dolla. Apart from the business being a division of a highly respected financial sector stalwart such as SSL, it is a regulated entity and would therefore be subject to regulatory scrutiny,” said Gerry White, a CIC director who is of Jamaican origin.

“With myself and the CEO of CIC on the board, we are looking forward to supporting Mrs Paige Todd, chairperson; Mark Croskery, director at Dolla, and the management team to executing the business plan,” White said.

CIC will have two directors on the board, while the holding company will maintain its three directors, Croskery said. “We maintain a super majority”, Croskery said.

Yesterday, Croskery disclosed that SSL has tripled itsinvestment in Dolla Financial since the purchase in 2015. Since then SSL has expanded Dolla Financial to six locations covering Savanna-la-Mar to Kingston.

Plans are to further expand Dolla Financials footprint across the country, particularly in remote areas of Jamaica to reach the “little man” who needs funds to fuel his business.

According to SSL, the company's investments in technology over the past year will assist it in reaching the underserved market.

“The company expects to continue to raise funds in order to keep growing and remain competitive, whether privately and/or publicly through exempt distribution and/or IPO through the JSE. Dolla also has its eyes on expanding beyond Jamaica's borders in the near future, potentially in Haiti,” SSL said.

“We think there is a northern play in the Caribbean possibly with Dolla and other companies — Jamaica, Haiti, Dom Rep and the Cayman Islands, when you look at the Caribbean,” Croskery told the Caribbean Business Report.

Haiti's population size of 10 milion makes it an attractive market for Dolla, Croskery noted.

Haiti is considered to be less developed than Jamaica with a per capita income of about US$1,000 and a gross domestic product of about US$8 billion, compared to Jamaica's US$14 billion.

Since the beginning of its operations in January 2017, CIC has raised roughly US$6 million in capital and seeks to generate positive returns for its investors by using a rigorous due diligence and investment committee process to make profitable investments in companies with sustainable growth prospects.

So far, CIC has made three investments in Haiti including ProFin, a financial institution licensed by the central bank of Haiti, Banque de la Republique of Haiti. CIC is headed by a board of directors composed of members with long experience in finance and business, both in Haiti and internationally.

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