Wed | Sep 18, 2019

SSL backs planned US$3m radiology company

Published:Sunday | August 18, 2019 | 12:33 AMKarena Bennett - Business Reporter

Mark Croskery, CEO of SSL Ventures.
Mark Croskery, CEO of SSL Ventures.

Radiologist Dr Welsford Sinclair and business partner Joseph Jenkins have received backing from SSL Venture Capital Jamaica for a US$3 million (J$405 million) radiology company the duo intends to set up at 21 Tangerine Place in Kingston.

SSL Venture Capital, which trades as SSL Ventures, has acquired an associate stake of 20 per cent in the stand-alone venture called Alpha Imaging Limited. The deal was signed off on July 26, but SSL has not disclosed the size of its capital injection into the venture.

Sinclair, who currently provides radiology services at Portmore Pines Imaging, and Jenkins, who resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States, hopes to offer the most advanced diagnostic imaging services in Jamaica over the next three months.

Jenkins told the Financial Gleaner that if the venture is successful, Alpha Imaging will expand its footprint across the island by 2024 and later, the Caribbean.

“In the future, we want to apply a profit-sharing model to the health-care system in Jamaica, meaning, we want to enter discussions with the Government to share some of the workload with the private sector,” said the co-founder, who has also been working in Jamaica over the years.

“We are bringing first-class technology, convenience of location, and we have a vision for the healthcare system to work for everyone,” he continued.

In the first phase, Alpha Imaging will hire about 12 employees to manage the operation. The facility at Tangerine Place will span 4,000 square feet and will be equipped with 3D ultra sound technology, digital x-rays, and 128-slice computed tomography, or CT scanner.

SSL Ventures’ acquired stake in Alpha Investment marks its fourth portfolio company since it started trading on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) in August 2018. The acquisition is, however, less than half of the stake that SSL Ventures negotiated for in the other three companies – Muse 360, Bar Central, and Bluedot.

“Those were our seed investments, so going forward, we will look at associates stakes, which is typically between 20 and 49.99 per cent, or higher, depending on the nature of the business,” SSL Ventures CEO Mark Croskery told the Financial Gleaner.

The deal also comes at a time when SSL Ventures is still trying to sort through its accounting policies and procedures.

On Thursday, the JSE advised of the continued suspension of trading in the shares of SSL Ventures for breaches of three junior-market rules for financial reporting – audited annual financial statements.

“We have to deliver on a clean audit, which we intend to do by September,” Croskery said.

SSL Ventures had first applied to the JSE for a suspension of trading for the period June 20 to August 14, 2019. The application was made in response to concerns raised by the JSE in a letter dated June 6, 2019, in relation to SSL’s auditor’s report regarding the listed company’s audited financials for 2018.

SSL Ventures is using the period of suspension to resolve the issues raised and to submit a modified or restated report that is in compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards and the JSE junior-market rules.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com