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$30 million private placement forArawakCay

Asecond quarter target has been set for Bay Street shipping companies to relocate to Arawak Cay, with the new Chief Executive Officer of the Arawak Cay Port Development Company Ltd.(APD)Michael Maura revealing$15 million has been spent on the project to date and a$30 million private placement has been eyed for year-end.

Asserting that an initial public offering(IPO)was”110 percent going to happen”, CEO of the Arawak Cay Port Development Company ltd.(APD)Michael Maura toldGuardian Businesslast week that the timing for the IPO to come on stream was now completely in the hands of the government.

“I wouldn’t expect it to occur in six months, but maybe over the course of the next year,”said Maura, the former head of Tropical Shipping.”But there will be a private placement in the near term to pension funds and institutional investors[and]that would be the first opportunity for a very broad base of Bahamians to acquire equity in the port company.

“There is a$30 million block that will go out to institutional investors that would be a combination of preference shares and bonds.”

The breakdown of exactly how the offering will be mixed is still being decided. The focus is now on the ongoing marine work and dredging being done at the port. So far, approximately

$15 million has been spent on the construction activity out of a total$40 million contributed by the private sector and the government, Maura confirmed.

Over the next 90 days, major construction is to begin on the 25-square-foot warehouse on the western end of the project, which will accommodate break-bulk freight(industry term for items like electronics and food items that are not necessarily containerized).

The tenders for this work are expected to go out to the public by the end of the month, Maura aid, with the groundbreaking eyed for February on the warehouse. It’s a project that should continue throughout the first half of 2011, with companies like Betty K expected to move into their new operating space around June or soon after.

Next on the list for the project will be the build-out of the inland terminal near 100 square feet in size-on Gladstone Road, which government has set aside 15 acres for construction on. This facility will serve the purpose of housing less-than container load(LCL)cargo(terminology for items that are insufficient in quantity or weight for standard freight rates), where customs brokers will be able to collect cargo on behalf of the customer.

Cargo-carrying trailers, during designated hours, will be allowed to transport goods back and forth between the Arawak Cay location to the Gladstone Road warehouse.

“It is anticipated that the dock would not permit containers to be transported on or off the dock during peak traffic time,”Maura toldGuardian Business.”As an example, government might determine that the hours between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. are a peak time[and]the port would not allow containers to be transported or refuse to receive containers at this time.”

Within the next three months, he said upland construction-all of the construction that sits from the water back into land-would begin at the port. It includes the area for the terminal, where trucks would be driving.

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