Jamaican-listed firm Portland JSX Limited (PJX) is admitting that its US$4.5 million investment in fast-growing Columbian based online grocer, Merqueo Holdings, may be materially impaired.
PJX made the admission in a regulatory filing with the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), where its shares are traded. In its filing, PJX says it “is expecting to take a provision for loss of most, if not all this exposure. The Company continues to monitor and manage the situation closely.”
PJX disclosed the investment in Merqueo Holdings in its financial statements for the year ended February 28, 2023. PJX has explained that the indirect exposure is part of its affiliated Portland Caribbean Fund (PCF) II Fund portfolio.
However, PJX boss Robert Almeida is reported to have indicated that its multimillion-dollar financing of Merqueo might go to nought following the lapsed initial public offering (IPO), which would have provided a way for PJX to cash out of the investment.
The sale of shares should have provided an injection of cash for Merqueo to fuel its ongoing operations but without this its expansion plans are now at a standstill. Almeida is quoted in the press as saying, “at the current time, all possibilities are still being pursued to fund continued operations, but both the debt and equity have a high risk of material impact.”
Merqueo, through the IPO has plans of listing on the NASDAQ exchange in New York.