UPDATE: Dequity heading to market
Investment outfit Dequity has hired Mayberry to arrange its listing on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange and is weighing a market float for another of its associated companies.
Dequity Capital Management Limited, which was formed in December 2020, is majority owned by Kadeen Mairs and chaired by economist Dr Damien King.
Rather than managing funds for investors, Dequity is an investment group that actively seeks out minority positions in targeted companies, with a view to growing them to new levels, according to CEO Adrian Smith.
In its two years of doing business, he added, Dequity has invested US$8 million in eight companies.
“We’ve reached a limit with our money and we think that an association with Mayberry will help us raise the necessary capital that will allow us to take advantage of other opportunities that have come our way, since we’ve been growing the company over the past two years,” Smith said.
Founder Mairs says the driving philosophy at Dequity is to back the entrepreneurs and not companies per se.
“We don’t try to take over a founder’s business but rather, take an associate stake, investing 20 to 30 per cent of the valuation, and help them to grow in readiness for the capital market, where they can list and realise the value of the company,” he said.
“We have several portfolio companies in different sectors, such as real estate, healthcare, and so on. A lot of these companies are now at the stage where they are ready for the equity market.”
One of those companies is the Johnston Development Group, JDG, which is presently executing on a $1.2-billion residential complex in Graham Heights, Kingston. Charles Johnston’s company Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company holds 590,000 shares in JDG, his niece and JDG CEO Jamila Johnston holds 290 million shares, and Dequity Capital owns 200,000. Charles Johnston is also chairman of JDG.
Dequity also has a stake in Royal Medical and Imaging in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland. That company is presently looking at acquiring another medical facility in Kingston that does diagnostics and surgical procedures.
“We feel that we have several companies that are IPO-ready, and what Dequity wants to do is to find a financial partner that can help us to bring at least two companies per year to the equity market,” Mairs said of the move to engage Mayberry Investments.
He says the finer details are still being discussed, but that Dequity will be taking one of the portfolio companies to the junior market, while Dequity itself, based on its current valuation, will list on the main market.
“The aim right now is to continue building out the portfolio as we strengthen the companies. Certainly, we want to move on the two listings, Dequity and the junior market listing for 2023 and then two others for 2024,” he said.
Mairs is currently the CEO of Dolla Financial Services Limited, a company that has changed ownership twice since he founded it but in which he remains a minority shareholder through Dequity. Dolla was listed on the JSE junior market in June 2022 by current parent company FirstRock.
Smith says that of the eight companies in which Dequity is invested, two of them trade on the junior stock market — Dolla Financial and iCreate Limited. The others are Real Estate Acquisition Limited, Johnston Development, Miracle Technologies, Royal Medical Company, M24 Investments and Elite Concepts Solutions.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Jamila Johnston is Charles Johnston's niece and not his daughter.