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SSL holding company to list - Targeting $500m to $1b from summer IPO

Published:Wednesday | February 13, 2019 | 12:08 AM

The holding company for Stocks & Securities Jamaica is hunting up to $1 billion in equity capital, which it plans to raise from an initial public offering of shares on the Jamaican stock market this summer.

The company targeted for listing, SSL Growth Equity Limited, was known as Stocks & Securities Limited (Barbados) up to three months ago, when it underwent a name change.

“We are considering up to 25 per cent of SSL Growth Equity Limited to be made available to the public for the offer,” said CEO Mark Croskery.

The company needs the funds to finance acquisitions and hopes to go to the market with its IPO sometime between June and September. Its minimum target is half a billion dollars, but its ­ambition is to get to about twice that amount.

“We are still in discussions, but we foresee a minimum of $500 million or more at this stage, with an upsize to $1 billion if we track accordingly to our plans,” said Croskery.

SSL is locally known for offering ­brokerage services through Stocks & Securities Limited and microlending through its Dolla Financial brand. But it also operates a series of ­companies in the region. Its most recent acquisition was the reverse takeover of the failing music ­publishing business C2W Music, a start-up with an untested business model whose IPO on the junior market was brokered by SSL.

Stocks & Securities reset the business as a venture capital financier, which was renamed SSL Venture Capital Jamaica and trades as SSL Ventures. So far, SSL Ventures, which ­continues to trade on the Jamaica Stock Exchange ­junior market, has made three investments in Bar Central, Blue Dot Data Intelligence, and Muse360 Integrated, amounting to $100.9 million.

SSL “activated” its holding company last December, which, as the active private-equity arm, will provide “growth financing” to entrepreneurs, families and companies, said Croskery.

The subsidiaries of SSL Growth Equity include SSL Asset Management Limited (Cayman); Dolla Financial Services Limited; SSL REIT Investors Limited (St Lucia) and its Jamaican subsidiary; and Stocks & Securities Limited (Jamaica) and its subsidiary, SSL Venture Capital Limited (Jamaica).

“We want to be able to position ourselves to be able to raise enough equity capital for the current wave and upside in Jamaica and Caribbean,” said Croskery.

The main shareholders in SSL include father and son Hugh and Mark Croskery, followed by John Greaves and George Chai. The shareholders are also considering the addition of “potential anchor investors”, pre-IPO, who can identify or ramp up private-equity deals in Jamaica and regionally.

The board is chaired by Hugh Croskery, with Mark, Jeffrey Cobham, John Bailey, Brian Robinson, Claire Jordan and Sarah Meany as directors.

SSL will start looking for a lead broker by April to arrange the IPO, said Mark Croskery. The company wants a broker with a wide distribution, given the focus of the listing, which aims to attract both wealthy and average investors, he said.

“We want to have as many Jamaican investors as possible to share in this potential upside and equity growth in the Jamaican economy,” Croskery said.