Scotia Investments Leads J$3 Billion Raise For GraceKennedy Limited
Kingston, Jamaica - April 30, 2021 – Scotia Investments Jamaica Limited (SIJL) recently acted as Lead Arranger and Co-Broker with GK Capital Management to successfully raise J$3 billion by way of a Private Bond Placement for GraceKennedy Limited.
The proceeds of the issue will support GraceKennedy’s larger strategy of mergers and acquisitions.
The Bonds were issued under the Financial Services Commission exempt distribution guidelines as “Highly Rated Debt Securities” on the basis that the Bonds received an Investment Grade rating of jmAA from the Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS). The rating agency cited its expectation for continued strong demand for the Group’s food products and services, and improved operating efficiencies notwithstanding the challenging operating environment associated with the COVID-19pandemic.
Commenting on the issue, Stanley Thompson, Director, Capital Markets at SIJL said, “We were deliberate in creating a financing solution that met GraceKennedy’s desire to raise affordable funding with flexible terms. We are also pleased that we were able to provide investors with an investment grade asset issued by a Blue Chip company to add to their portfolios which is expected to provide stable returns at relatively low risk.”
GraceKennedy (GK) Group CEO, Don Wehby, commented, “M&A is a key strategic driver of growth for GraceKennedy, as we work towards our vision of becoming a Global Consumer Group and continue seeking opportunities to deliver long term value for our shareholders and customers. We see the issuing of this bond as a great opportunity to advance our M&A push, which has been accelerated through GK’s recently established M&A unit. As we continue to roll out our M&A strategy, GK has a number of transactions in the pipeline. These are typically funded by a mix of debt and equity, for efficiency of our profit and loss and balance sheet. GraceKennedy has always maintained high cash balances in keeping with regulatory requirements and to ensure comfortable reserves, which is particularly important in the current economic climate associated with the COVID-19 pandemic."
Terry Ann Graver, GK’s Head of Treasury and Corporate Finance also noted, “We were pleased to have partnered with the SIJL team who delivered a seamless and coordinated execution of this critical transaction. Kudos to our GK Capital Management team who also played an instrumental role as co-broker for this Bond.”
VP and Head of Scotia Capital Markets, Sarah Cumming said: “This deal marks our continued commitment to deliver unique value for our clients that is both meaningful and sustainable.
Our financing approach involved leveraging both Scotia Group’s strong distribution network via our asset management and wealth management divisions, as well as, our balance sheet.
The success of this deal further highlights Scotia’s unique capability to collaborate across our teams and offer innovative and efficient transactions. We recognize that in spite of COVID, companies will seek customized financing solutions to bolster performance. We are building momentum in our Capital Markets unit and see tremendous opportunities to act as a financial partner in providing solutions that will create capacity for reinvestment and growth.”