Sunday, May 26, 2019
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Port equity offering in 2021

The equity offering for investment in the redevelopment of the Port of Nassau, the largest investment opportunity for Bahamians since the Arawak Port Development Ltd. public offering, will be offered by the second or third quarter of 2021, CFAL President Anthony Ferguson told Guardian Business.

Ferguson added that the bond offering will be released to the public some time before the equity.

He said it is likely that the bond offering will start, in part, before the end of this year.

Ferguson added that the company is looking at a 70/30 debt-to-equity ratio, but that’s not yet set in stone.

The debt will be used to get construction going in a meaningful way so equity investors can see what they’re buying into, Ferguson said.

“We want to minimize retail investor risk by delaying the offering, to ensure the complex is about 90 percent complete,” Ferguson said.

CFAL is targeting equity buy-in at $1,000, with a view to attract 20,000 to 30,000 investors.

CFAL is a collaborator for the port development project and is the lead investment management firm that will develop and create the Bahamas Investment Fund. CFAL is working alongside Global Ports Holding (GPH), which won the bid to redevelop and manage the Port of Nassau for 25 years.

The Bahamas Investment Fund will make Bahamians 49 percent owners of the port.

Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar told reporters yesterday that GPH’s proposal was “by far the best and most transformative and iconic” proposal of the three that went to a decision-making committee.

“We made the decision that Global Ports is the best partner to partner with, and now we enter into negotiations,” said D’Aguilar.

The minister reiterated that the port is not being sold to GPH.

“We are not selling the Prince George Dock,” D’Aguilar said.

“We are entering into an agreement where a substantial investment will be entered into the dock, and they will operate and manage it for 25 years.

“Of course, we would love if The Bahamian people could write a check for $250 million and bring about this transformation, which we all agree needs to be done. But we don’t have $250 million, and the only way to get $250 million is either to borrow it, which is a big no-no, or to increase taxes which is another big no-no.”

D’Aguilar said approaching the private sector and Bahamians for the money is the best course of action for redeveloping the port.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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