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JM | Aug 17, 2022

Dolla going ahead with interest in acquiring Access Financial

/ Our Today

administrator

No planned hostile take-over in the making

Durrant Pate/Contributor

In an Our Today news follow-up, micro-financier, Dolla Financial Services Limited says it is not backing away from its interest in acquiring competitor, Access Financial Services Limited.

Our Today broke the story last week of Dolla’s interest in taking over Access Financial Services but the management of Access subsequently advised that it has had no discussions with Dolla around a possible takeover of its holdings.

Marcus James, excutive chairman of Access, confirmed that the Board received a letter on August 11, 2022 from Dolla but denied that any discussions between the companies had been taking place.

However, in an exclusive interview with Our Today, Dolla Financial CEO Kadeen Mairs on Tuesday (August 16) made it patently clear that his company was pushing forward with its intention to acquire a full 100 per cent shareholding of Access Financial.

Access Financial Services Ltd.

The board of Access Financial has until today to respond to Dolla’s expression of interest.

In a letter to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), where its shares, like Access Financial’s, are traded, Dolla Financial declared: “We await a response from Access in order to proceed with confidential due diligence and thereafter, if satisfactory, present a formal offer to acquire Access. Dolla remains focused on the company’s main objective which is to increase shareholder value through acquisitions and organic growth.”

No hostile takeover intended

Mairs, while speaking with Our Today, emphasised that, “we do not want it to appear like a hostile takever. It’s unfortunate that our letter of interest was leaked; in fact, Dolla wants to acquire Access so we can add value to shareholders, as Access has plateaued in performance and there are many synergies  where Dolla and Access can add value beneficial for both shareholders”.

It is for this reason, Mairs stressed, that Dolla has expressed its interest in acquiring Access Financial. He acknowledged that no formal offer has been made by Dolla Financial, as the letter sent to the board was merely to have the conversation started with Access.

Kadeen Mairs, CEO of Dolla Financial Services Ltd.

When asked what next if a response is not forthcoming by the deadline, the Dolla CEO responded that a further communication would be sent out in line with the rules of the JSE in relation to any necessary disclosure and due process.

Dolla, in an advisory to the JSE on Tuesday explained that the letter sent to the board of Access was a non-binding expression of interest to enter into preliminary discussions to explore the takeover.

Access Financial Services has assets under management of just over $5.6 billion, making the entity one of the leading players in the micro finance sector. On August 1, Access Financial became the first micro credit company to be licensed under the Micro Credit Act by the Bank of Jamaica.

Dolla is riding high after its initial public offer for J$500 million was oversubscribed by J$5 billion in May of this year. It has been one of the outstanding successes on the Junior Market of the JSE.

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