iCreate issues $24m bond
Training institute iCreate Limited has raised $24 million through a bond issue, which CEO Tyrone Wilson says will be used for working capital support.
The bond, which was issued on February 7, is structured for semi-annual payments at 12.5 per cent and matures in five years. The facility was arranged by Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited.
The issue comes exactly a year after the training institute raised $70 million in an initial public offering to stock market investors. That equity was raised to finance acquisition additional equipment, computers and software to deliver courses; the expansion physical infrastructure to include additional computer labs, training rooms and workshop space in Kingston and Montego Bay, to pursue regional and international expansion and the implementation of new training courses.
“We have pretty much done the majority of the build-outs that we promised for 2019. Kingston has been expanded to include more classrooms and access to training equipment. We have also started Montego Bay and we are looking forward to that growth,” Wilson said.
The company also partnered with Trend Media for its digital marketing courses in Trinidad & Tobago. Although iCreate’s expansions have led to more revenue, which nearly tripled to $6.9 million for the quarter ending December, the company’s expenses have been driving it into red. The training institute reported a loss of $21.5 million for the quarter, which was twice as bad as the $10 million of losses for the year prior period. For the full year, revenue improved from $32 million to $48 million, but the company’s losses doubled from $15 million to $34 million.
Expenses for the full year topped $63 million.
“The funds that we’ve raised will ensure that we have enough cash to run the business on a daily basis,” said Wilson regarding the bond proceeds “So now that we’ve done the build-out, the business lines are moving fast and we are expecting better days going forward,” he said.
iCreate offers courses in advertising design, animation, digital content marketing, digital video production, graphic design, creative writing, photography, and project management.
Through collaboration with the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, it is delivering certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and masters level training.