Why is Fontana IPO priced so low?

Owners and directors along with their advisors ought to know the value of their company. But this publication must ask the question if Fontana has really done so well and will continue to expand, why is it priced so low?
At a premium over net book value of 88 percent, the stock is one of the cheapest of Junior Market listings, with the vast majority selling at a premium of 3 to 4 net book and an average PE of around 13 excluding the extreme highs and lows. One would expect the stock to be priced closer to 10 times earnings before tax, that would put the price closer to $3 than $1.88 and that would place price to net asset value at a premium of 200 percent, still below the market average. The fact that the company is setting up a new branch and looking for more expansion, makes the case for a higher price more compelling as investors are most likely going to rake in much profit from this stock. The only problem the general public will not get many shares  to buy up front as it is set tobe heavily oversubscribed. Investors can expect this one to at least double shortly after listing.From where we sit we think the brokers did the owners out of several million dollars on this issue but then the owners may want Jamaicans to party with them on the 50th anniversary.

Fontana another IPO another set of errors

Fontana operators of a series of Pharmacies in Jamaica has now released the Prospectus for their initial public offer but like Elite Diagnostic last year, there are errors in this document that needs correction and explanation.
This is an unfortunate development for yet another issue, that seems very attractively priced. The directors have all signed off on the document that has gone through the Financial Services Commission, the Jamaica Stock Exchange and the Company Office of Jamaica, so why the errors and important ommission.
The introduction in the prospectus speaks to a price of $1.88 except for reserved shares at $1.69 but later on in the body of the document it speaks to a price of $2 for each share, making it unclear exactly what the price really should be? In the interim results to September, there are two issues, one is an error and the other, information that really needs clarification. The interim cash flow has no profit, nor depreciation and it therefore is not balanced and needs correcting.
The gross profit in the interim results jumped sharply,even as revenues grew just 5.5 percent with inventories are up 19 percent at the end of the quarter over 2017 and 15.5 percent over June this year. Why the big jump in inventories with sales are just rising moderately? Importantly, this raises questions about the accuracy of the inventory levels and the gross profit margin for 2018. Management should explain the sharp changes in this area so that investors can better understand why there is such a sharp jump in the quarterly profit.
This publication finds it difficult to once more raising issues relating to a prospectus. We are concerned that enough care is not going into them. The breach of GWest Corporation relating to the non-disclosure of information relating to an extraordinary meeting that was said to approve the issue of preference shares that was never brought to investors’ attention is fresh and has not been properly dealt by the regulators or the company. The regulators seem to have turned a blind eye to it. We need to raise the standards if the capital market integrity is the be enhanced.

Gwest’s share issue response inadequate

The response by GWest the issue of preference shares is inadequate and they still have a number of questions to answer about the issue and the lack of disclosure in the prospectus and the audited financial statements.
The openness of directors with their investors is critical in cementing trust between them. A prospectus is a contractual invitation to the public to purchase shares in the offering company. It requires that full disclosure of all material information is made, so that prospective investors can make rational decisions pertaining to the shares being offered for sale. Any rational person reading GWest prospectus would come to the conclusion that the only matter agreed on at the extra-ordinary meeting of November 27 was that which was disclosed in section Page 45 of the prospectus which list details of the “Recent Capital Restructuring of the company to be as follows”:
“At an extraordinary general meeting the shareholders of the Company approved the following actions in respect of the capital structure of the Company: The re-registration of the Company as a public company in accordance with the Companies Act, adopting new Articles of Incorporation for that purpose:”
a)”The increase of the authorized share capital. (b)The subdivision of each Share”
“The disapplication of any pre-emption rights, howsoever arising, for the purposes of the issue of new Shares for subscription. The conversion of all fully paid Shares to stock on issue.”
There is no mention of the issue of any other type of share. Any decision to issue other shares should have been disclosed in this section if a meeting took place before the date of the prospectus.

Dr. Konrad Kirlew, chairman of GWest.

The fact that it was not, is the clearest sign that there was inadequate disclosure of important and material information and that the issue of preference shares after, should not stand before approved by a meeting of the new owners.
The vast majority of Junior Market companies have limited administrative staff, as such all the skill set to properly run them are not in their employ. The end results is that mistakes are made and will continue to be made. Recognizing, that most of them don’t have the knowhow of running a public company, the JSE created the creature called a Mentor, but not even that seems to be adequate to fill the breach.
According to the company in a release to the JSE, “Sections 18 and 19 in the November 2017 GWEST Prospectus specifically disclosed that shareholders loans were to be converted to preference shares, thereby reducing the servicing cost to the Company: Shares in the capital of the Company are under the control of the Directors, as expressly provided for in the Articles of Incorporation.”
That is nonsense. The prospectus only has 16 sections, with the last (section 16) being signed by the directors.
Section 11 contains projections along with supporting notes that were reviewed by Ernst and Young who signed their report on November 28.
The extraordinary meeting at which the change in share capital was approved was said to be held on the November 27. According to the resolution, the directors were given authority to issue, to allot such Cumulative Non-redeemable Preference Shares at such subscription price per Preference Share as the Directors of the Company or such Committee may deem fit, the same to be allotted to shareholders of the Company who have invested in the capital of Company (in cash or in kind) with the understanding/pursuant to agreement(s) that such investment(s) will be recognized as shareholder loans or by the issue of preference shares, in each case on terms and conditions determined by the Directors of the Company, subject always to the Articles of Incorporation of the Company”.
Having given the directors the authority to determine the terms and conditions of the preference shares, GWest in releasing information of the above resolution has not presented the minutes of the meeting of the directors that agreed on the terms. The fact that the extraordinary meeting did not set out the terms of the issue of the shares is even more reason why it should have been fully disclosed in the prospectus.
The company refers to 18 and 19 but it appears they mean notes 18 and 19 of section 11 that deals with the projections. What does the section say about the preference shares?
Note 18. “Borrowings| This relates to the NCB Term Loan and shareholders’ loans converted to preference shares.”
NCB Term Loan| The terms of this loan for $350 million, include a repayment period of eight years payable in equal quarterly installments and an interest rate of 11.5% per annum.”
“Preference Shares| 50% of shareholders’ loan will be converted to non-redeemable preference shares with interest at 10% per annum. The remaining 50% will remain as shareholder’s loan with no fixed repayment with interest at 10% per annum for the J$ amounts and 4% per annum for the US$ amounts.”
Note 19. “Shareholders’ Loan| This amount relates to funds advanced by the shareholders. It is assumed that outstanding balances will continue to attract interest at the prevailing rates of 15% and 4%, respectively for J$ and US$ funds. However, once the IPO is completed and the Company becomes publicly-listed, it is assumed that the interest rates will be reduced to 6% and 2% for J$ and US$ denominated loans, respectively on the remaining balance not converted to preference shares. With respect to the J$ denominated balance, the interest rate is assumed to increase annually by 1%, with a cap at 10% by 2022. The Directors are of the view that these rates are more in line with arm’s length rates prevailing within the market.”
Nowhere in the prospectus is there any reference to a meeting called to approve the issue of any shares other than ordinary shares and the terms of those shares. Under no stretch of the imagination could assumptions included in a financial projections be regarded as disclosure of an agreement to issue shares or that a resolution was already passed to do so. Earlier in the prospectus it is made clear that futuristic statements are just that, as they may not be achieved. That the company withheld pertinent and material information from the new investors even when they had a number of occasions to do so, is glaring and concerning. That the Jamaica Stock Exchange sees nothing wrong with what has transpired is plain shocking, even more shocking is that they did not ensure that proper and full disclosure of the information was included in the relevant part of the prospectus.
The directors cannot over ride, the company’s act that requires that all changes in share capital of a company be approved by shareholders at a general meeting. From all indications this was not agreed to before the prospectus was published, in which case it appears that the new shareholders would have to approve it at a general meeting.
To compound the problem, the preference shares were issued to connected parties to the company. That alone should have alerted all concerned that all decisions should be properly executed.
Of note,  the Audited accounts to March 2018, made no mention of the issue of additional shares that were issued or to be issued. It is the norm in auditing, that minutes of meetings are made available to the auditors and the directors have a responsibility to ensure that the financial statements are accurate. The directors need to state if the audited accounts correctly disclose all relevant information pertaining to the share capital. They need to state why they all signed the Prospectus with no mention being made of the resolution to modify the share capital indicating full details of the resolution.
What date did the directors meet to determine the terms of the preference shares and why were those terms not disclosed in the prospectus for all to see?
The Jamaica Stock Exchange requires that they should be advised in advance of any meeting of directors called to alter the share capital of a company and after the meeting the outcome of the meeting is to be communicated to them as well. There are no indications that the directors complied with this section of the Stock Exchange rules.
The handling of this matter is not the way to properly operate in the capital market.

IPO facts investors should know

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“Hello my dear client, the day we have been waiting for to increase your wealth is here. The Mayberry Jamaican Equities IPO has finally arrived, the stock is a must have at this time. Attached are the Prospectus and Application Form for your attention. The official opening date is Monday, July 9, 2018, the demand is high so please don’t delay,” Kind regards, a MIL wealth adviser.
The above was a message sent out by one of Mayberry’s wealth advisor. A group of investors stated in 2017 that investors cannot go wrong with Junior Market IPOs, all that has to be done is just buy, buy, buy and the investor cannot fail to make money. Some investors in the last two IPOs, Sygnus Credit and Everything Fresh bought into the issues heavily, hoping to catch an early bounce and pocket the profit. That the initial bounce did not last, should be a lesson to speculators.

%8 Half Way Tree Road owned by Stanley Motta.

Laden with 6 main and Junior Market stocks, Mayberry Jamaican Equities is issuing 120,114,929 ordinary shares to the public, at a price of $7.57 each. Investors really ought to know what they are buying into when IPOs are being issued, rather than thinking that the price of each IPO can only go in one direction – up. As the stock market matures and more persons come to the party of stock ownership, the valuations that new IPOs come to the market at, will continue to rise and less immediate potential gains will be priced in. In some cases, investors will need to look long term for the payoff from their investment.
Everything Fresh, Sygnus Credit, Stanley Motta and Mayberry Jamaican Equities fall into this category. GWest was another company that many investors got carried away with, in pushing the price to $4 with many buying at inflated values, now the stock trades in the low $2 range. A reminder of an adage, that successful trading starts at buying at the right price. GWest business model is based mainly on generating most income and profits coming from operating mini hospital and other patient care. Real estate income going forward was going to be secondary and would not contribute much to profit. Profit made in the year before listing was mostly from sale of real estate and that was not something that would continue for any prolonged period. Without a track record in providing healthcare, investors who bought the stock in the high $3-4 level must have been hoping that the forecast in the prospectus was going to be achieved on a timely basis. The results to March show revenues well below forecast from the new operations. The company projected medical income to March this year, at $86 million but only generated $17.4 million and that puts the issue of generating the forecasted $710 million for fiscal year 2019, in doubt. Admittedly, the company had projected a loss to March of $110 million but came up sharply lower with a loss of $88 million.
Investors should recognize that not all IPOs are equal. They should also realize that there is a clear pattern that prices then to move up for strongly demanded issues and the undergo some correction. The data shows that the best time to buy after the IPO closes is on the first day or two or a few weeks after when demand falls off and supply increases as short term investors try to offload.
Data for listings in 2016 to 2018 show and average of 31 percent correction for Junior Market stocks from the highest point to the lowest, after listings which tends to occur within 4 weeks of listing. IPOS from Mayberry seem to have a lower pull back in price, around an average of 23 percent while most others, average around 33 percent. Three main market stocks pull back from their highest point, range from just 15 percent for Victoria Mutual Investments to 31 percent for Wisynco and 29 percent for Sygnus Credit Investments.
Based on how investors have gone about pricing IPOs at their peak it seems likely that Indies Pharma will peak around $2.40 based on projected earnings in 2018, of 16 cents per share. It could even go higher if the number of investors who apply for shares exceed those Junior Market listings IPOS from those going back to 2018.

Sygnus Credit IPO rakes in $3.8B

Some 3,200 applications with more than $3.8 billion chased after the Sygnus Credit Investments offer of 90,909,091 ordinary shares preliminary data out of the company is indicating.
The company went to market to raise J$1.3 million but have the option to upsize the amount it takes in case of over subscription of the offer.
The offer is expected to close on the Wednesday May 16 received applications from Jamaicans and persons from overseas including the wider Caribbean, IC Insider.com was informed. The company is likely to take up approximately 60 percent of the excess demand in keeping with the clause in the Prospectus that gave them the right to up lift the take in case of an oversubscription.
With the level of oversubscription, the total issued shares that was projected to be just over 250 million units should end up at just over 300 million ordinary shares.
Sygnus Credit Investments is a specialty private credit investment company, dedicated to providing non-traditional financing to medium-sized firms across the wider Caribbean region. These companies typically have revenues between US$5 million and US$25 million.
The investment objective of the Company is to generate attractive risk adjusted returns with an emphasis on principal protection, by generating current income, and to a lesser extent capital appreciation, through investments primarily in Portfolio Companies using private credit instruments.
The capital structure of the company and the choice of investing funds will tend to result in a return closer to fixed interest levels, but likely higher than some bank lending rates, in the short to medium term as such investors should be looking for steady growth but relatively high dividend payments in the medium term. The falling interest rates on Jamaican dollar money market instrument will make the dividend payment very attractive source of income.
The company intends to pay out up to 85 percent of its net income as dividends to shareholders, payable on a quarterly basis. The target dividend yield is over 7 percent on the IPO price.
At December 2017, SCI had US$16.7 million in assets and generated net profits of US$660,855. The value of investment in Portfolio Companies was US$11.6 million, generating a yield of 10.3 percent.
Earnings for 2019 fiscal year could be around J$1-1.2 per share and that could see the stock trading between $15 and $20 within twelve months. Returns could be greater if they use borrowed funds to meet some of the demand they have for funding.
The Company currently has a robust pipeline of US$31.4 million in deals to finance, of which US$3.2 million has been approved, US$12.3 million has been mandated and US$15.9 million are at various stages of prospecting.

Sygnus Credit priced for a bounce

Sygnus Credit Investments is offering 90,909,091 ordinary shares in two classes in the the company at J$13.72 for shares denominated in Jamaican dollar and 11 US cents for the US dollar ordinary shares. 

The issues are to be partially underwritten up to the equivalent of US$5 million by Sagicor Investments. If all shares are taken up in the IPO there will be 250,178,614 ordinary shares issued. The prospectus list the current yield on the portfolio of invested funds at 10.3 percent. In the event that of oversubscriptions, the issuer has the right to upsize the amount to be accepted.
Subscription list opens 9 am on May 2 and is scheduled to close on May 16 if not closed earlier.
The capital structure of the company and the choice of investing funds will tend to result in a return closer to fixed interest levels, but likely higher than some bank lending rates, in the short to medium term as such investors should be looking for steady growth but relatively high dividend payments in the medium term. The falling interest rates on Jamaican dollar money market instrument will make the dividend payment very attractive source of income.
Sygnus Credit Investments is a specialty private credit investment company, dedicated to providing non-traditional financing to medium-sized firms across the wider Caribbean region. These companies typically have revenues between US$5 million and US$25 million.
The investment objective of the Company is to generate attractive risk adjusted returns with an emphasis on principal protection, by generating current income, and to a lesser extent capital appreciation, through investments primarily in Portfolio Companies using private credit instruments.
In 2017, the Company raised US$16 million in equity from 44 investors, with more than half the capital raised from institutional investors. The top 5 largest institutional holders invested $8.5 million and owns 52.9 percent of the Issued Shares. The fund raised was used to capitalize the company and invest in Portfolio Companies. The targeted investment types include bilateral notes and bonds, preference shares, asset backed debt, mezzanine debt, convertible debt and other forms of structured private credit instruments. These types of financing are typically more aligned with the growth and expansion plans of Portfolio Companies.
The company intends to pay out up to 85 percent of its net income as dividends to shareholders, payable on a quarterly basis. The target dividend yield is over 7 percent on the IPO price.
At December 2017, SCI had US$16.7 million in assets and generated net profits of US$660,855. The value of investment in Portfolio Companies was US$11.6 million, generating a yield of 10.3 percent.
Sygnus Capital Management, the Investment Manager, seeded SCI with US$540,000 and owns 3.4 percent of the issued shares. In total, Sygnus Capital Management and Sygnus related parties invested US$1.04 million and owns 6.5 percent of the Issued Shares.
Earnings for 2019 fiscal year could be around J$1-1.2 per share and that could send the stock to between $15 and $20 within twelve months. Returns could be greater if they use borrowed funds to meet some of the demand they have for funding. According to Jason Morris they intend to use borrowed funds once they have used up the equity now being raised. Book Value per Share was 10.5 US cents at the end of 2017.
Thirty-eight-point-nine percent of the fair value of the Company’s investment in Portfolio Companies was denominated in Jamaican dollars. For the period ending December 31, 2017, appreciation of the Jamaican dollar versus the US dollar resulted in Net Foreign Exchange Gains of US$247,705, this gain which flows through the income statement, may be reversed in future periods, and may affect Net Profit.
The Company currently has a robust pipeline of US$31.4 million in deals to finance, of which US$3.2 million has been approved, US$12.3 million has been mandated and US$15.9 million are at various stages of prospecting.

New IPO set for mid-April

Investors in Jamaica will get another opportunity to vote come mid April, on the merits of a new public share offer.
IC Insider.com has confirmed that Everything Fresh is set to issue their prospectus around the middle of April. Brokers for the issue is stocks and Securities. The company imports and distributes products including diary, seafood and meats with the hotel sector a major customers. The business operates from 78 Marcus Garvey Drive, but he hopes to acquire additional premises, to be financed from the initial public offering (IPO) of shares, the chairman Gregory Pullen was quoted as saying in 2017.
“You have to expand the warehouse after a while, and I see us getting a bigger place for storage, but I don’t believe in these super-huge warehouses where you store goods forever,” he said,” Pullen was reported as saying last year.
The company has a large nine-member board chaired by Gregory Pullen, Courtney Pullen, Melene Pullen, Garret Gardener, Nesha Carby, financier Mark Croskery, ex-banker Donovan Perkins, attorney-at-law Vivette Miller and Chartered Accountant Jennifer Lewis.
Everything Fresh seems set to be the second initial Public offer to hit the market in 2018, and is one of about nine that is expected to go public this year. Sygnus Credit is expected to come to market within weeks having sent the prospectus to the authorities for vetting in February.

$1.22 billion chased 71M Elite shares

Elite Diagnostics could be in the Junior Market TOP 10 by the end of 2018.

Elite Diagnostic initial public offer of 70,680,000 ordinary shares were aggressively taken up by the General Public and place the issue as the one to have attracted the largest number of subscribers.
Applications for 614,190,600 units were received from 3,346 investors value of J$1,228,381,200.
The public offer was oversubscribed by more than 10.5 times and only one category of reserved shares was fully subscribed to, with 6,160,000 shares reserved for Medical Practitioners, receiving 54 applications. Applications from this group covered 19.046 million shares valued at $38,092,600, the first 70,000 units were allotted in full with balance getting 10.062 percent.
A total of 3,257 applications for shares were received from the general public who will receive the first 15,000 units with the balance in excess, receiving 3.383 percent.
A total of 12 applications for shares valued at approximately 1.555 million shares were received from Directors and Employees of the Company for the 4,060,000 shares reserved.
Five Affiliated Doctors applied for 142,000 out of the 700,000 shares reserved for them, two Affiliated Entities applied for just 56,000 of 420,000 shares reserved for them. Eight Referring Doctors Tier 1 applied for 2,240,000 of the 6,160,000 shares reserved. Applications from Referring Doctors Tier 2 applied for 1.011 million shares from the 1,900,000 shares reserved for them.
Sagicor Investments and NCB Capital Markets were the brokers to the issue.

Elite IPO put off for now

The initial public offer of 71 million shares in Elite Diagnostic that was to have opened to the public on Monday January 22 but put back to Wednesday January 24 has been put off once again.
The prospectus that was originally planned for release in early December included results for the first quarter of the current fiscal year to September with errors that lead to an understating of expenses and over stating of profit as well as errors in the amounts relating to fixed assets in the cash flow and balance sheet.
According to a recent release from the company, “Elite, after consulting with its Financial Advisors, has decided to update certain statements made in its prospectus dated December 11, 2017 and Addendum dated January 17, 2018. The revised statements and the new Opening and Closing Dates will be published on the JSE’s website as soon as possible.”
IC Insider.com who first brought the errors in the report to the public had written after the addendum was released that the company needed to withdraw the prospectus and have the figures properly checked and audited before releasing it again to the public.

Elite interim figures lack credibility

Elite Diagnostics interim figures are wrong and need auditing.

Elite Diagnostic issued an addendum to the prospectus for the public issue of shares. They should withdraw the issue, until they have the interim figures audited and fixed. For even after they amended them to correct for errors, $15 million is still unaccounted for.
The interim results, initially included in the prospectus and in the addendum to them, send a shocking picture of the amateurish approach to the company’s financial stewardship.
The company reported first quarter numbers without the significant cost of depreciation, which when included, reduced the profit by approximately 40 percent. To compound the matter, the figures are presented in cents which is shown is no other place in the prospectus, no experienced accountant would provide public results with cents included. The presentation tells a sorry story as to the errors that are in the report and are still there.
In a report of a missing $11 million, IC Insider.com pointed out the error re depreciation and fixed assets. In the addendum, fixed assets are up by $3 million but the figure is still short of what the data in the report suggests it to  be.
At the end of June last year, fixed assets amounted to $187 million, with the cash flow to September showing $74 million being added and would bring the total amount to $262 million, before depreciation of $9 million for the first quarter and would result in net fixed assets of $253 million. The interim results have the figure at $238 million, a huge difference of $15 million.
Deferred tax liability of $9.5 million reported in the June year end audited report disappears in the interim figures and may actually be a part of the error in the report. Without a proper checking of the data along with documentations of large transaction is difficult to say where the error may be and that is why the figures should audited at this stage to ensure integrity of the numbers.