The share offering in Nassau’s cruise port will begin when its redevelopment is nearing completion, so as to give Bahamian investors a clearer picture of where their investment dollars will be going, in hopes of reducing the risk for the many first-time investors expected to take advantage of the offer, President of CFAL Anthony Ferguson told Guardian Business yesterday.
The visible transformation of Nassau’s cruise port will begin this year and according to Ferguson, the share offering is not anticipated to begin until the end of 2021 or early 2022.
He said in the short term the project is being carried out through bridge financing.
“In terms of offering to the public, what we want to do is make sure the building is nearly complete, so you can see the construction, so that when we do go to the public they can really see it, and that takes out most of the risk of the investment for them,” Ferguson said.
He added that he is confident the port share offering will be oversubscribed when it goes out to the public.
“This is an opportunity for the average investor to participate in one of the largest touristic projects the country has ever seen,” said Ferguson.
“The cruise ship industry still accounts for more than four million passengers. We anticipate oversubscription for the equities.”
The expected minimum entry for an equity investment in the port is $1,000 and there will be a maximum allowable investment for any one particular entity investor.
In order to get the largest share of Bahamians invested in the port, Global Ports Holding (GPH), parent company of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., is providing a $10 million loan for Bahamians to borrow up to $1,000 so that they can invest in the port.
Bahamians’ investment in the redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise port is expected to be the biggest investment opportunity for Bahamians to date.
For the port’s investment portfolio, 49 percent of the shares in the port will be called the Bahamas Investment Fund, owned by Bahamians. Global Ports Holding (GPH) will hold 49 percent of the shares and the other two percent will be held by the YES Foundation (youth, education and sports) for development in Bahamian youth, education and sports.
CFAL is a collaborator in the port development project as the lead investment management firm that will develop and create the Bahamas Investment Fund.
GPH is also expected to make $5 million available for loans to small businesses through the Access Accelerator/Small Business Development Center.