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Saturday 7 December 2019
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Cinema One goes public

Photo source: cinemaonett.com
Photo source: cinemaonett.com

Nearly seven years after it was launched, the small and medium enterprises on the TT Stock Exchange will get its first listing, as CinemaOne Ltd prepares to go public.
“We’re excited. It’s ambitious, but I’ll admit I feel a little numb because it took a lot of rigour getting this offer to go public,” CinemaOne’s CEO Ingrid Jahra told a media conference at One Woodbrook Place, Port of Spain yesterday.

The local Imax theatre franchisee announced its intentions to launch the initial public offering (IPO) on September 17. On offer will be 38 per cent of the company, or just over three million shares. Each ordinary share will be $10, and CinemaOne hopes to raise $30.8 million from the IPO. The offer closes on October 12 and the official listing is slated for November 14.
Lead broker for the IPO will be First Citizens Brokerage and Advisory Services (FCBAS), which just oversaw the launch of the National Investment Fund.

"It’s definitely our hope and certainly that of the stock exchange that this will encourage (more activity). This market opened several years ago with the intention of broadening and deepening local capital markets so smaller entities could see equities investing as a real option for them as part of their financial and growth strategies,” said FCBAS brokerage manager Leslie St Louis.
Despite the incentives, including a reduced corporate tax rate (ten per cent for five years) and reduced listing fees, nobody bit. “We were glad CinemaOne approached us and hope people think it’s a viable option. This market can provide a wider range of investments at a more affordable price point, especially for new or young investors,” St Louis added.

Companies with a market capitalisation of $50 million and less can list on the junior stock exchange, but if it eventually exceeds that amount they can graduate to the primary market.
In terms of expansion, while there are no plans in the works just yet to move beyond the TT market, the newest CinemaOne in the works will be in Gulf City, La Romaine, with an estimated opening date sometime at the end of the second quarter of 2019, in time for summer blockbuster season.

There is opportunity though, and CinemaOne chairman Brian Jahra noted that options continue to flow, especially since among IMAX licence holders in South America, the CinemaOne consistently ranks in the top five in terms of ticket sales. In TT, he estimated the cinema had about eight to ten per cent of the market.
And regarding the “unfortunate photobomb” after last month’s 6.9 earthquake, where a picture of a car crushed by falling debris and featuring CinemaOne’s flagship Digicel IMAX logo went viral?
Jahra wanted to be clear that the building had been assessed by engineers for structural integrity and had been build according to the California code for earthquake-ready construction.

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