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Proven To List In Cayman, Mulls Rights Issue

Proven To List In Cayman, Mulls Rights Issue

Steven Jackson | Jamaica Gleaner

Proven Investments Limited (PIL) announced Monday that it would likely raise funds in a rights issue once it finalised an ongoing acquisition deal.

Concurrently, the company, which is registered in St Lucia, wants to list in the Cayman Islands, following its planned initial Kingston listing-by-introduction at US$0.112 per share on July 14.

“A rights issue, that is a strong possibility,” said Christopher Williams chief executive officer of Proven at an investors briefing in Kingston.

“You would however want to get in before the rights issue. Shareholders would get first preference and then the public,” said Williams.

Proven is negotiating the acquisition of a second undisclosed investment firm following last year’s purchase of Guardian Asset Management Jamaica, since rebranded as Proven Wealth Management and from which it booked a one-off gain of US$5 million.

Williams said that Proven did not want to raise cash with its listing on July 14, as it was sufficiently capitalised.

Proven closed its financial year with net value of US$34.25 million and total assets of US$141.1 million (J$12 billion).

The listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) would enable the existing 150 shareholders to trade shares with the public.

advice to investors

Williams urged investors to hold Proven shares as the company was still a “virgin”.

Proven will list about 3.5 billion shares. The listing to be denominated in US dollars represents a “pioneering” step for the local market according to Vernon James of NCB Capital Markets, the lead broker of the listing.

The JSE lists other companies in Jamaican dollars, including cross-listed stock.

“The shareholders invest in US dollars and would like to get back US dollars. We report in US dollars and it is our preference to remain in that currency,” said Williams, who added that there was no resistance by the exchange.

“The JSE said they wanted to do a US dollar listing. We wanted to do it.”

Proven was incorporated in the tax haven of St Lucia on November 25, 2009, and commenced operations on March 1, 2010.

The investment management committee also includes Williams, Gary Sinclair, Mark Golding, and Chris Bicknell.

Hugh Hart, Proven’s board chairman is based in Jamaica and Cayman.

“The Cayman listing is closer than in St Lucia. We don’t see the St Lucia market as very (dynamic)”, but given that Hugh Hart and another board member are in Cayman, “and have contacts who would be interested, there would be a huge demand for shares in Cayman,” Williams said to aWednesday Business query.

Proven, posted an average return on equity of 20.7 per cent on its US dollar-denominated balance sheet.

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