Friday 3 July, 2020

Barita Investments now holds largest stake in Proven

Barita Deputy Chairman Paul Simpson (left) and Managing Director Ian McNaughton.

Barita Deputy Chairman Paul Simpson (left) and Managing Director Ian McNaughton.

Barita Investments Limited (BIL) now holds the largest stake in Proven Investments Limited.

On Monday, Barita advised that it acquired a five per cent stake valued at US$9,864,233.39 (J$1.34 billion) in Proven, overtaking Proven founding partner Peter Bunting as the largest holder of shares in the investment company.

In the deal, 31.26 million units crossed the trading floor on Monday at US$0.315 per share. It is not known which large investor sold shares as the shares were acquired as a block. The top 10 shareholders combined held 24.6 per cent of the total 625.3 million units up to September.

The latest shareholding data available, up to September, shows that Bunting held 4.8 per cent; Nekia Limited, 3.4 per cent; Marco Miret, 2.6 per cent; Ozymandias Limited, 2.4 per cent; John Owen Harold Greaves, 2.17 per cent; Alydar Limited, 2.07 per cent; Pelican Investment Company, 1.8 per cent; Tajebe Limited, 1.6 per cent; Winston Hepburn, 1.6 per cent and Mabet Holdings, 1.59 per cent.

The transaction values Proven at US$197.28 million (J$26.8 billion).

Proven Investments trades on both the Jamaican dollar and US-dollar markets of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. On Monday, the stock traded at J$45 per unit with total market cap of $29.11 billion.

Commenting on the deal, Barita deputy chairman Paul Simpson said, “the investment in PIL is representative of Barita's equity investment strategy which is characterized by investing in undervalued companies with unique industry positions.”

He added, “Proven's recent rebalancing of its portfolio companies, to include the acquisition of 20 per cent of JMMB Group ahead of JMMBGL's investment in the 'new' Sagicor Group; as well as  reduction of its position in Access Financial Services .”

The changes, he said, are not appropriately reflected in the company's share price.

“I expect these transactions to be accretive over the medium to long term and accrue to the benefit of shareholders," added Simpson, who is a former executive at Proven.

The Barita Group is made up of Barita Investments Limited and its subsidiary Barita Unit Trusts Management Company Limited. The company was founded by Rita Humphries-Lewin in 1977.  In August 2018, Cornerstone Investment Holdings acquired majority shares in the company.

Proven Investments Limited is incorporated and domiciled in Saint Lucia under the International Business Companies Act, with registered office at 20 Micoud Street, Castries, Saint Lucia.

The primary activities of the Company are the holding of tradable securities for investment purposes. Its  subsidiaries include  Boslil Bank Limited Saint Lucia Private Banking , Saint Lucia Private mutual fund ;  Boslil Sudamenco S.A. Uruguay ;  Embassy Loans Inc. U.S.A. ;  Proven Wealth Limited Jamaica Fund management; Proven Fund Managers Limited Jamaica Pension fund management ; International Financial Planning (Cayman Limited);  Cayman Islands Fund management ;  Jamaica Hire purchase financing ; Real Properties Limited and its wholly -owned subsidiaries ;  Saint Lucia Real estate investment ; - Proven Reit Limited Jamaica Management and other entities.

Proven's US$23.8 million net profit attributable to owners over six months was significantly higher than the US$3.89 million earned in the same period last year. The strong jump in profit was due to the partial divestiture of its holdings in subsidiary Access Financial during the period.

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