SSL Ventures takeover said to be on track for April
In keeping with the initially announced timeline, SSL Venture Capital Jamaica Limited, SSL Ventures, expects to wrap up takeover talks with St Lucia-registered Micro-Financing Solutions Limited this month, following board approval and the nod by majority shareholder and connected company, Stocks and Securities Limited (Alpha), for the sale of the shares in the company that is listed on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, JSE.
The offer for SSL Alpha’s 79.08 per cent or 316,329,891 shares in SSL Ventures opened on Tuesday at $0.0948 per shares, CEO of SSL Ventures, Anthony Dunn, told the Financial Gleaner, valuing the transaction just shy of $30 million.
SSL Ventures advised the JSE earlier this year of Micro-Financing Solutions’ offer to purchase 100 per cent of the company’s issued shares.The offer for less than 10 cents per share in SSL Ventures places a book value of $37.9 million on the cash-strapped company, whose shares traded at $2.20 this week.
“The Financial Services Commission had already issued their no objections to the transaction so the last piece was for the SSL board to approve. Now that the board has approved, we expect everything to be wrapped up before the end of this month,” Dunn said.
Micro-Financing Solutions is part of a group of companies controlled by the entrepreneur trio Dino Hines, Robert Barnes and David Weir, who are said to be in business of cambio services, microlending, investment services, remittance and real estate services.
Hines, when contacted by the Financial Gleaner on Tuesday, declined to comment on the transaction, adding that he is waiting on the deal before disclosing to the market the plans Micro-Financing Solutions has for the company it’s is acquiring. However, sources close to the entity say there are plans to bring profitable entities of the MicroFinance Group under SSL Ventures.
SSL Ventures had its listing fast-tracked from the reverse takeover of music publisher C2W Music in 2018. SSL Jamaica held a quarter of the shares in C2W Music before taking over the then listed music producer, acquiring 80 per cent of C2W shares while leaving the remaining 20 per cent in the hands of other investors.
The SSL Ventures investment vehicle went through a series of management changes and racked up millions in losses before being placed on a path of restructuring under Zachary Harding’s leadership.
If the takeover is successful, SSL Ventures will mark the third business which its parent company SSL Growth Equity, SSL (Jamaica) has offloaded since 2019 to focus on its core wealth management and brokerage business.
The others were the sale of shares in SSL REIT to Kingston Wharves Limited and Dolla Financial, which was sold to First Rock Capital.
At June 30, 2021, SSL Ventures’ top 10 shareholders were named as Stocks and Securities Limited (Alpha) with 79 per cent, Kris Astaphan, Drew Gray, Gerald Wight, Sheldon Powe and Mellissa Green-Powe, Croskery Holdings Limited; Nkrumah Wilson, Alanah Jones, Stocks and Securities Limited Managed Account; and Derek Wilkie.