Mon | Sep 23, 2019

QWI Investments IPO sparks rush on Jamaican Teas shares

Published:Wednesday | September 11, 2019 | 12:27 AM
John Jackson, chairman of QWI Investments Limited and Jamaican Teas Limited.
John Jackson, chairman of QWI Investments Limited and Jamaican Teas Limited.

Trading in Jamaican Teas shares halted the circuit breaker twice on Tuesday as investors rushed to take advantage of a narrow window until September 16.

That’s the final day for shareholders on record to benefit from the eight per cent discount on the offer price of $1.25 for QWI, the split-off investment company that is going public and plans to list on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

The rush on small volumes saw Jamaican Teas closing at $7, a 12.9 per cent gain from Monday’s ­closing price of $6.20.

The prospectus for the QWI Investments IPO was posted on the market on Monday.

“You can see that Jamaican Teas shot up this morning, triggering the circuit breaker twice,” John Jackson, chairman of both QWI Investments Limited and Jamaican Teas Limited, said Tuesday.

“The order book for it has changed dramatically. There are those saying that it may be an indicator for what is down the road for us,” Jackson told the Financial Gleaner.

QWI is offering 600 million shares, half of which are reserved for various groups at $1.25 per share, including existing shareholders of Jamaican Teas and KIW International Limited. KIW was acquired by Jamaican Teas from the Jamaican Government and is the company from which QWI was formed. Directors of QWI Investments Limited are being offered 30 million shares at $1.20.The general public has access to 270 million shares at $1.35 per unit.

The IPO is available for ­subscription from September 16 to 30.

“Interest is high. I gather that there are already orders coming through on the NCB portal, both locally and overseas. That leaves me with the view that the initial offer will be taken up in quick order, and we may want to even upsize and still leave demand out there. That’s my assessment of it,” Jackson said.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com