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Port bond offering starts December

The bond offering that is expected to fund the majority of capital for the new Port of Nassau will be available by December of this year, according to preliminary details released yesterday by CFAL, the company handling the bond issue.

The equity offering, which is hoped to broaden the scope of Bahamian ownership in the country’s major ports, will come in December of 2021, said CFAL.

CFAL said investments in the port will be available to Bahamians and permanent residents and “is slated for broad-based participation”.

“The project is still in its early stages and the relevant parties are still in the negotiation process with the government of The Bahamas. Therefore, details are expected to change,” said CFAL.

CFAL said with regard to the equity class, loans of up to $1,000 will be made available to interested investors “who do not have the available cash”.

“To this end, a grant of up to $10,000,000 is expected to be established to assist small investors with financing at a zero percent interest rate,” the company said.

CFAL is a collaborator for the $250 million 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, 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.

CFAL President Anthony Ferguson recently told Guardian Business the company is looking at a 70/30 debt-to-equity ratio, but that’s not yet set in stone.

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

CFAL estimates the equity offering will attract 20,000 to 30,000 investors.

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

Ferguson estimates once negotiations with the government are complete, construction will take 24 months.

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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