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SMEs Schooled On IPOs

Minister of Investment, Industry and Commerce Anthony Hylton says companies in emerging industries and others with a strong retail brand are the best candidates for initial public offerings (IPO).

But he warned that for small and medium Jamaican companies seeking to go public via the stock market, the process could be lengthy.

"The IPO process can last as long as two years," said Hylton at a seminar for women owners of business. The process involves registration with the authorities, organisational change and the hiring of auditors and accountants.

The best candidates for IPOs, the minister said, are companies that are growing at least 10 per cent annually and which have no more than 25 per cent of capitalisation in the form of debt.

He was speaking at an IPO seminar staged jointly in Kingston by the Mona School of Business (MSB) and Women's Business Owners (WBO) to provide the female company heads with local research on what it takes to execute a successful offer.

Dr William Lawrence, director of the Professional Services Unit at MSB, told the business owners the IPO process might also involve surgical changes to turn their companies to position them as high value propositions for investors.

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