Proven Investments is currently offloading its small private equity holdings, as the regional investment outfit streamline its investment portfolio.
Among the holdings the company is doing away with is its stake in entertainment company Dream Entertainment Limited. Proven recently divested its entire 20 per cent interest to Yes Iyah Limited. The proceeds from the transaction was not disclosed. Yes Iyah is a Jamaican private company, whose directors and principals are entrepreneur Ryan Reid, medical doctor Michael Banbury, and attorney Sean Shelton.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, President and CEO of Proven Investments Christopher Williams explained that over the last six months the investment outfit, which has equity positions in several small and large businesses throughout the Caribbean, has been selling off its equity holding in these small companies, where its equity holding is not great. He cited Proven’s 20 per cent equity in Dream Entertainment as an example of the company liquidating its interest in small companies, where the equity interest is relatively small.
“This has been the strategy for the last six months and will continue for the rest of the year,” Williams told the Business Observer.
He advised further that Proven is moving away from small equity interest in small companies and will be focusing on big companies, where its equity interest is much greater. According to the Proven Investments boss, “all investments we are focusing on are those with big equity positions, so we can focus time to become more efficient and make sure we have the critical mass necessary.”
During its 10 years of operation, Proven Investments main investment strategies have been in private equity, tradeable securities and real estate. Currently, Proven’s diversified private equity holdings are Proven Wealth Limited, Proven Fund Management Limited, Access Financial Services, BOSLIL Bank Limited, Proven REIT, International Financial Planning Limited, and most recently JMMB Group.
When asked about the reason for exiting Dream Entertainment, Williams disclosed that the reasons were twofold. The first reason was that Proven got a good offer and jumped at the opportunity and secondly, Proven’s new focus away from small equity holdings in these small companies.
The Business Observer quizzed Williams whether the departure of his company from Dream Entertainment had anything to do with its recent staging of the popular Dream weekend parties in Negril and the negative publicity linking the staging of the event from August 5-7, 2021, to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Jamaica thereafter. His response was to the contrary, explaining that the deal was consummated long before Dream Weekend Negril 2021 edition and as far back as mid-June. However, the transaction was only signed off in July weeks before Dream Weekend’s 2021 edition in Negril.
At the time of Proven’s 20 per cent acquisition of Dream Weekend back in February 2019, it was reported that the investment will help generate dividend income and that it aligns with the company’s core investment strategy within the real sector.
“Our focus remains precise and where we see performance and opportunities that align with our financial goals, we are sure to explore and undertake them,” Williams said in a press release announcing the purchase of the equity in Dream Weekend at the time.
“We have seen the impact Dream, through its entertainment brands, has had on our economy and we are proponents of the multiplier effects the entertainment business has brought to tourism and the Jamaican economy. This is another of our investments that support a diversified revenue stream and we look forward to realizing the success of this enterprising partnership,” Williams declared.
Dream Weekend’s signature events include Dream Weekend, Xodus Carnival, Dream Weekend Cruise and The Cooler Weekend. The company recently hosted a Dream Weekend edition in New York from August 28-30, 2021.