Sygnus Credit Investments (“SCI”) has advised that on December 22, 2021, SCI, through its newly formed subsidiary SCI Puerto Rico Inc., entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement to acquire a majority interest in Acrecent Financial Corporation (“AFC”), one of the largest private credit companies in Puerto Rico. The executive management team of AFC will remain partners with SCI.
The proposed acquisition is aligned with SCI’s strategy of providing alternative financing to middle‑market businesses across the Caribbean region.
Completion of the acquisition is subject to approval by the Puerto Rican regulator, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCFI).
Beris Grey, CEO of Sygnus Capital, Investment Manager of SCI, said “SCI is very pleased to be entering this partnership with AFC and its fantastic team of professionals, led by CEO James Connor. We share mutual values across our teams and have similar cultures which will help us collectively grow the combined business to new frontiers.
SCI is breaking new barriers with the announced acquisition of its majority stake in AFC which operates within a US$100 billion economy and US territory. To put this into perspective, the total GDP of SCI’s entire Caribbean footprint in 8 territories up to this point is less than US$50 billion. Thus, this acquisition will provide 3 key benefits to SCI and its shareholders (i) an opportunity to build international relationships to reimagine the growth and size of the business (ii) an opportunity to expand its credit portfolio into fast growth industries such as healthcare and biopharma, which are inaccessible within its current markets and (iii) an opportunity to deepen the diversification of its investment portfolio in terms of higher asset quality, geography and sector thus increasing downside protection while enhancing shareholder value.”
James Connor, CEO and founding partner of Acrecent, also expressed his positive thoughts on the acquisition: “I am very enthused for my team at Acrecent to join the entrepreneurial Sygnus team and together becoming the Caribbean’s formidable alternative investment force, raising and deploying transformational capital at scale in Puerto Rico and across Sygnus’ rapidly expanding Caribbean footprint.”
Pan American Finance, a financial advisory firm based in Miami, Florida, and Sygnus Capital were joint financial advisors to SCI on the acquisition. Dorsey & Whitney LLP and O’Neill & Borges LLC acted as legal advisors to SCI, and EY Caribbean as Financial, Tax and IT advisors. The transaction will represent SCI’s first acquisition and the largest single investment in SCI’s history. Acrecent’s financial advisor was Multicultural Capital LLC, and it was represented by the law firms Venable LLP and Pietrantoni Mendez & Alvarez LLC.
Dr. Ike Johnson, Executive Vice President of Sygnus and Head of Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions, said “The AFC acquisition represents a truly unique value proposition for SCI, making it unquestionably the Caribbean’s largest private credit investment company with more than US$160 million in private credit investments and more than US$200 million in assets under administration. We are truly happy and grateful to have partnered with Pan American Finance, who were instrumental in securing the winning bid and working with us to get such an exciting deal executed for SCI.”
About Acrecent Financial Corporation
AFC was founded in 2003 and is a Private Credit Investment company that operates in Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States. It is a licensed financing and leasing company focused primarily on the senior secured private credit market for small and middle-market businesses in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a US$100 billion economy with a population of 3.2 million.
AFC has a private credit portfolio > US$60 million and assets under administration > US$125 million. The company is led by a very experienced team with an impressive track record in credit management. The senior managers have had extensive careers in the commercial finance industry, primarily from GE Capital in the US and Mexico, and Banco Popular in Puerto Rico.
Sygnus is the Caribbean’s leading alternative investment management company spanning private credit, real estate and private equity. Sygnus manages Sygnus Credit Investments Limited (SCI) which is listed on the JSE and the largest Private Credit Investment company in the English-Speaking Caribbean. SCI is a pioneering private credit investment company, which offers creative debt financing to middle market businesses across the Caribbean. Sygnus Real Estate Finance Limited (SRF) provides flexible capital (Debt or Equity) to all classes of real estate assets (commercial, industrial or residential). Sygnus Deneb Investments Limited (SDI) invests private equity capital in companies in the form of growth capital, buyouts and turnarounds. Sygnus also offers its clients Investment Banking, Wealth Advisory and Tax Advisory services.