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The Sygnus Credit Investments management team pause for a frame at company's annual general meeting, held at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston, on November 27, 2019. (Photo: Christopher Lewinson)

Sygnus Credit Investments raises US$15-m debt for Caribbean expansion

The Sygnus Credit Investments management team pause for a frame at company's annual general meeting, held at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston, on November 27, 2019. (Photo: Christopher Lewinson)

Having received approval from its board to raise US$35 million in new capital, Sygnus Credit Investment (SCI) secured US$15 million through the issue of a debt instrument in December last year.

Chief Executive Officer of Sygnus Credit Investment Berisford Grey speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting, held at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston, on November 27, 2019. (Photo: Christopher Lewinson)

“We have already raised US$15 million of that and are in the process of deploying that amount,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of SCI Berisford Grey told Caribbean Business Report in an interview.

“We will be doing an announcement shortly about how we will be raising the [remaining] US$20 million and all of this is to drive portfolio growth for Sygnus Credit Investments,” he added.

Though tight-lipped on the rate of interest for the debt instrument, the CEO shared that Sygnus Capital Management acted as the broker for the transaction and Sagicor Investments the underwriter.

Pressed for more information, Grey disclosed that the company will raise the additional sum from equity.

“So, we will determine if we do a rights issue or additional [public] offering. We will be making a decision in the coming months and then advise shareholders and the market accordingly,” he shared.

Shareholder value

On November 27, 2019, at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM), Chief Investment Officer Jason Morris informed shareholders that the company had received approval from the board of directors to raise additional capital through both debt and equity.

However, up to June 30, SCI’s 2019 financial year end, the company did not carry any outstanding debt on its balance sheet. As a result, Morris announced at the AGM that the company had intentions of acquiring debt to better serve clients.

Chief investment officer at Sygnus Credit Investments Jason Morris speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, held at The Jamaica Pegasus, on November 27, 2019. (Photo: Christopher Lewinson)

“Your company does not have any debt, so it has a very clean, pristine balance sheet,” the CIO boasted.

“But, going forward, to grow the business, as you’ll see later in the presentation, Sygnus Credit Investments Limited will actually take on debt… because if we are able to borrow at a low rate and invest that money at a higher rate than the cost of borrowing, then what that does is increase value to shareholders and increase profits and increase dividends that can be paid out,” he added.

Eyes on the Caribbean

With between 30 and 40 per cent of its capital invested in the Cayman Islands, St Lucia, Barbados, and the ABC islands, SCI is planning “deploy” the new funds to other territories. In the meantime, the investment firm will continue to expand its portfolio in countries in which it is active.

Sygnus Credit Investment CEO Berisford Grey said that his company is exploring opportunities in The Bahamas. (Photo: 7th Heaven Properties)

“In terms of outlook, we are exploring opportunities in The Bahamas, Guyana, and to a lesser extent Trinidad and Tobago,” Grey revealed to Caribbean Business Report.