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Proven Investments upsizes rights offer, may go 50% higher

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Christopher Williams, CEO of Proven Management Limited.

Proven Investments Limited (PIL) said Tuesday that its rights offer has been extended and upsized in response to investor interest, even as sources indicate that applications have already topped J$2.5 billion.

Proven group CEO Christopher Williams said that the offer - previously slated to close on April 3 - will now be extended by two weeks.

"We received applications in excess of the US$19.66 million that we put on offer. Based on the strong demand, we have decided to upsize it and to extend it to close April 17," Williams said, noting that in this phase of the offer, both shareholders and non-shareholders will have equal access to the increased number of units.

PIL's initial offer under its renounceable rights issue was to raise around J$2.26 billion.

Some 122 million new shares were offered at US$0.16, or J$18.50, per share. But now Proven is contemplating increasing the offer by as much as 50 per cent, which would hike the fundraising target to around $3.4 billion, but Williams said a final decision on that rests with the company's board and would also be determined by demand for the shares.

Wednesday Business has learned that Proven will be using the proceeds for a high-profile acquisition of an asset domiciled in one of Jamaica's top trading partners in the Caribbean. It is expected to be the company's largest acquisition to date.

Williams said the rights prospectus gives Proven the option of increasing the size of the offer.

"We are thinking of upsizing it by between 25 and 50 per cent. It has not been finalised as yet. It's based on the demand we see out there," he said.

Some of the proceeds will also pay down debt.

In the first phase of the offer, some 400 shareholders were offered one additional share for every three held. Under the current round, allotments to non-shareholders on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is Proven's third rights offer since August 2010. The other two raised a combined US$19.9 million for the company.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com