Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Eppley to redeem 2019 preference shares next year

Published:Wednesday | October 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Nicholas Scott, managing director of Eppley Limited.

Eppley Limited, which mainly provides insurance premium financing announced that it plans to redeem its 2019 preference shares a year early but is still considering whether to issue a new set of shares.

The market value of the 2019 shares is around $600 million which is near to the $636 million cash pile that Eppley ended the June quarter with, its latest financials show.

Eppley said in a market notice that it would redeem the shares next January 31.

"We decided to redeem the preference shares early to take advantage of the current funding environment. We are exploring a few options but we have not made a formal decision yet on the exact manner in which we will finance the redemption," managing director Nicholas Scott said in response to Gleaner Business queries.

Eppley listed the 99,998,667 Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares at $6 each in December 2014. It pays out more than $5 million in dividends each month on the shares that were initially issued to 255 shareholders.

The shares will be redeemed at $6.06 per share, and the company also indicated on Monday that it would fix a date for payment of any arrears on dividends.

The value of Eppley preference shares was estimated at $1.3 billion in its last audited accounts, which would drop following the redemption of the 2019s. The company has two other prefs that trade on the junior market.

At the end of June, Eppley's capital amounted to $684 million while its borrowings totalled $1.7 billion. The company's profit fell from $40 million to $30 million at half-year.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com