ECSPONENT, a small investment company funding its growth plans by regularly placing small tranches of high-yielding preference shares, has expanded its operational holdings to 18 subsidiaries — some of which ply their trade in specialist unsecured lending outside the retail market.The company — formerly known as John Daniel Holdings — on Wednesday reported strong growth off a low base for the year to end-December.Revenue increased 54% to R57m, while after tax profit was up fivefold to R5.2m.Ecsponent is certainly not institutional investment fodder, and one market commentator described the company’s preference share arrangements as "a little nerve wracking".Ecsponent CEO Terence Gregory said funding for the expansion strategy was secured through the registration of a listed preference share, which allowed the company to raise capital to fund investments on an ongoing basis.There are R60m worth of preference shares listed on the JSE.He said the initial market uptake on the preference...

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