One Great Studio breaks IPO drought

Digital marketing company One Great Studio (1GS) has broken the drought for investors seeking to participate in initial public offers (IPO) this year, being the first to come to market.

The company, which calls itself a "digital first" operation, will be seeking to raise $338.63 million in equity through its IPO, which will open on August 28, 2023 and close on September 18, 2023. If the offer is fully subscribed, the company will thereafter list on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

According to the prospectus posted on the JSE website on Friday, each stock holds a nominal value of $1.00, with 1GS allocating 152,382,348 shares for take-up from key strategic partners; 16,931,371 for subscription from its team members; and 169,313,720 for the general public to purchase.

Arranger and lead broker of the IPO has invited applicants to subscribe for shares though its digital platform BOSS.

1GS provides services, including website design and development, search engine optimisation, mobile app design and development, digital strategy, among others to a variety of local and international entities.

While the digital marketing agency has grown organically over the last decade, in the last year the company has pursued a strategy of expansion through acquisition over the last year. To this end, in September 2022 1GS acquired USA-based High Voltage (HV) SEO, which propelled the company into amplifying its search engine optimisation offering and increasing its customer base to include entities in North America and Europe.

"It was a timely move to access and leverage the skills of a global team of experienced digital marketers with deep SEO knowledge, with well-defined systems and processes. HVSEO, with its global hiring, recruiting, and management base, has bolstered 1GS's structure, business growth model, and tech-driven excellence," Djuvane Browne, CEO of 1GS stated, adding that since the acquisition, the company has seen the increase in the company's high-growth potential.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to acquire HVSEO resulted in 1GS taking on debt and in this regard Barita Investments played a critical role in brokering the transaction. It is for this reason that proceeds from the IPO will go towards paying down debt, including costs associated with the current capital raise.

Additionally, the capital raise will help the company invest in developing staff and continue its pursuit of strategic growth initiatives.

"Our growth mission continues," Chairman John Bailey outlined, "And we are pleased with strengthening of the existing team through the addition of exceptional new talent, including through our recent highly synergistic acquisition.

The company has increased its revenue and profits over the last five years despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bailey noted that since 2018, 1GS's revenue has grown on average by 82.70 per cent, moving from $21.45 million to $238.93 million in 2022. Compounded annual growth rate for operating profit has been 98.86 per cent, up from $3.97 million in 2018 to $62.09 million last year.

Since the acquisition of HVSEO, 1GS has seen growth in the SEO revenue line of $90.53 million for the September to December quarter in 2022.

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