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Portland JSX coming to market with IPO

Published:Friday | May 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Michael Lee Chin, executive chairman of Portland Private Equity.

The initial public offer for shares in Portland JSX, a special-purpose vehicle created by Portland Private Equity, is due to launch on May 31, the Financial Gleaner has learned.

The offer is a month behind schedule - it was initially contemplated for April - but the targeted fundraise remains at US$10 million, which at current exchange rates converts to $1.25 billion.

If it hits the target, Portland JSX Limited will become the second largest ever IPO via the Jamaica Stock Exchange, nearing record holder Sagicor X Fund Limited, which hauled in $1.49 billion in October 2013. Still, they are both eclipsed by JMMB preference share offers, one of which raised US$42.78 million ($5.18 billion) at the top of this year.

The Portland JSX offer is a fundraising component of the targeted US$200-US$300 million sought by Portland Private Equity for its Caribbean Fund II, which has been operational since 2014 and whose investors already include Development Bank of Jamaica, IFC, European Investment Bank, German Development Bank Export Development Canada, Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation. The proceeds will form part of the final tranche of the fund.

Portland JSX already raised $1.5 billion from 25 Jamaica-based pension funds last October for its contribution to Caribbean Fund II. It's for that reason that Portland Private Equity is going public with JSX. Regulator of the private pension market, Financial Services Commission, has said the Pension Act does not require it, but legal experts say the law is ambiguous, and so Portland opted to err on the side of caution and list JSX on the JSE.

The prospectus for the Portland JSX offer is expected to become available on May 25. The lead broker is VM Wealth Limited.

Portland's investment team includes Michael Lee-Chin, Robert Almeida, Doug Hewson, Kip Thompson and Joe Vescio.