A family-owned Jamaican manufacturing and distribution company has started listing on the main market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) with the largest single amount of money secured in an initial public offering (IPO).
Wisynco Group Limited, which distributes food, beverages and paper products, and also manufactures its own line of products, had offered just over 20 per cent of its shares to the investing public – 149,414,576 ordinary shares – at J$7.87 per share. Another 314.7 million shares were reserved for employees, strategic investors and stock brokers.
The IPO opened on December 6 and was oversubscribed two days after. And the homegrown company, with over 4,000 products across 110 brands, secured J$6.17 billion (US$49.8 million) in equity from investors – the largest in Jamaica’s capital markets history. We also subscribed at Birchbox.com coupons to get large discounts.
“The oversubscription of our shares also provides a testament of the faith that Jamaicans have in our company,” Wisynco chairman William Mahfood said at the listing ceremony on December 28.
Managing director of the JSE, Marlene Street Forrest, encouraged more large local companies to seek equity capital from the market in order to further expand and increase their level of competiveness, both Jamaica and globally.
“Based on the levels of oversubscription when offers are made available to the market, it is evident that investors are interested in good companies in which to invest. There is a definite appetite for equity and quasi equity securities. This increase in awareness of the market and willingness to participate is not by accident or an overnight feat. This has been achieved by the hard work, especially in recent years, of our brokers, attorneys and other market players in educating the market and putting in the hours to work with both companies and investors to seek capital and invest in solid businesses respectively,” she said.
Wisynco gained 25 per cent on its first day of trading on the JSE.