Barita IPO misses target

Published: Sunday | December 20, 2009

Rita Humphries-Lewin, founder of Barita Investments Limited. - File

Barita Investments Limited on Friday said it raised $420 million following the closure of its initial public offering on Tuesday and is now expected to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange by the second week of January 2010.

"We have not hit our target in monetary terms but remember, the main thing was to list on the exchange," said Ian McNaughton, general manager of Barita Investments.

The company had been aiming for $1.1 billion, saying it would have used some of the funds to boost its capital base in preparation for a deeper foray into the foreign exchange and pension funds-management markets.

McNaughton said that the $420 million estimate is subject to final verification by the Jamaica Central Securities Depository.

38 per cent of target

The equity raised by Barita represents approximately 38 per cent of the target funds the company was seeking to raise through the December 7-15 IPO.

The offer got mixed reviews from market analysts, but more were in favour of Barita as a 'buy' or 'buy and hold' investment.

The three-tier offer was priced at $2.50 for 200 million ordinary shares; and $3 each for 100 million convertible preference shares, and 100 million redeemable variable rate prefs.

Barita Investments is the oldest stock-brokerage company in Jamaica, founded by Rita Humphries-Lewin 32 years ago.

The company has $11.8 billion in assets and an $849 million capital base.

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