Ricardo Allen, co-founder and CEO of One-on-One, is taking the company public with the aim of raising $358 million in an IPO set for this August.

One-on-One Limited Educational Services Limited is planning to raise $358.25 million through the issuance of 380 million shares and listing on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, in a bid to be the 100th company on the exchange.

The offer is set to open on August 12 with Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited (SIJL) to be the lead broker and arranger.

On offer are 121.25 million shares for the general public at $1 with the remaining shares in the reserved pool.

Atotal of 108,750,000 shares are to be converted at $0.80 per share for convertible loans amounting to 72.5 million shares for PanJam Investments Limited and 36.25 million shares for Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited. Some 30 million shares each are to be reserved for Sagicor Investments employees and One-on-One employees prior to the offer date. Another 30 million shares are to be reserved for members of the Jamaica Teachers' Association and independent contractors who provide training services via the company's platforms. Then a further 60 million shares are to be reserved for key strategic partners who are major customers, professional advisors, and consultants retained to facilitate the initial public offering (IPO).

"It feels really good not only for myself, but my team of 70 young professionals who have created a company that is helping so many students and professionals to upskill themselves to learn. We have helped over 150,000 persons across the Caribbean. It feels amazing to bring the company to this point where we can list publicly to give others an opportunity to be a part of movement," said co-founder and CEO Ricardo Allen in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

If One-on-One is successful in raising at least $100 million, and is admitted to the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), it would benefit from a five-year tax remission where it would pay no income tax and pay 50 per cent of the applicable rate in the other five years.

One-on-One is the fifth IPO in 2022 and second educational company after EduFocal which was listed on March 15.

The company was registered in August 2013 but commenced operations almost two years later. It was founded by Allen, Rory White, Stephen Barnes and Christopher Rochester.

One-on-One intends to use the proceeds from the offer to invest in next generation learning content for new and existing markets, investing in adaptive learning technology using machine learning and artificial intelligence plus increase its working capital reserves. The expenses related to the offer should not exceed $30 million.

The company currently earns recurring revenues from contracts and subscriptions related to its proprietary content and other off-shelf solutions. Revenue jumped 92 per cent to $268.82 million in 2021 and generated $67.45 million in net profit, a 22 per cent improvement on the $55.40 million earned in 2020. For the nine months ending May, One on One's revenue amounted to $194.41 million with net profit at $40.04 million.

The company's total assets grew 151 per cent to $326.90 million as it invested heavily in its intangible assets valued at $139.82 million. Its total liabilities rose to $226.56 million as it took on debt to fund this growth initiative with its stockholders equity amounting to $100.34 million and retained earnings.

"Teachers are a core part of our growth prospects. One-on-One is largely an enterprise business. Some of the largest e-learning or education companies in the Caribbean use One-on-One's technology and content to deliver learning. We see ourselves as the backbone behind this thrust for e-learning," said Allen.

One-on-One plans to re-enter the consumer market in the coming months with a segment for students and professionals which it expects to derive US$660,000 and US$300,000 in 2023. Its business segment for teams and content development generated three per cent of revenue in 2021 while its government segment contributed 45 per cent of revenue or US$875,000.

The company projects that it will earn $433.54 million in revenue in the 2023 financial year and earn $140.53 million in net profit with 2025 to see the company earn $662.24 million and have a 27 per cent net profit margin.

One-on-One intends to have a dividend policy of paying up to 25 per cent of distributable net profits once listed. The board of directors includes Chairman Michael Bernard, Allen, John Bailey, Karen Vaz, Mischa McLeod-Hines, and independent directors Tyrone Wilson and Dr Carol Granston. Dr Cranston will chair the audit committee, Karen Vaz the remuneration committee and John Bailey the corporate governance committee. Douglas Orane will act as the company's mentor.

Interested investors can apply for the offer through the Sagicor Investments eInvest platform up to the closing date of August 19. The minimum number of shares to be applied for in this offer is 1,000 units while increments will only be done in multiples of 100 units. The JCSD processing fee of $172.50 is payable with an application. Investors can use the bot called Una to ask any questions one may have about the IPO.

BY DAVID ROSE Observer business writer davidr@jamaicaobserver.com

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