NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Nassau Cruise Port Ltd confirmed it has raised more than $130 million through its private bond offering.
The bond offering was launched on May 4 and closed on Friday, May 15.
Colina Financial Advisors Ltd. (CFAL), the bond’s lead placement agent confirmed the offering was oversubscribed.
Mike Maura, Jr, CEO of Nassau Cruise Port, said: “We wish to thank the many investors who recognize the national importance of this project and have given us their backing.
“We are also very grateful for the assistance of the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas, whose extensive support helped to make this effort so successful. Through construction and other requirements, our project will immediately produce much-needed jobs and support the creation of small and medium-sized businesses.”
Maura said: “During these unprecedented times, this essential project will put food on the table for many Bahamians who didn’t know how they were going to feed their families in the weeks and months to come.”
A 2018 economic impact assessment conducted by KPMG concluded that the project would have a $300 million impact on the Bahamian economy during the development phase and a $15.7 billion contribution over the 25-year concession period.
Maura continued: “From an industry perspective, our project is critically important. Our success is a signal to our tourism partners that the Bahamian tourism industry, and specifically Bahamian cruise tourism, will continue to thrive.
“Moving forward on this project puts The Bahamas miles ahead of our competitors, who will be challenged to offer a product to rival our exceptional port and waterfront experience. With the support of our key stakeholders, this project will exponentially improve the circumstances of thousands of Bahamians.”
In a statement, CFAL president Anthony Ferguson revealed details about potential plans to accommodate more investors.
“We received a considerable amount of interest from Bahamians who sought to participate in this phase of the fund raising but wanted to come in at a lower minimum threshold or to invest as a part of a group,” Ferguson said.
“We are considering alternative options that will give those who missed this opportunity a chance to invest with a slightly different framework. We’ll share that information once we have more details.”
The redevelopment of the port facility will occur in three phases.
The first phase of the project, which involves the demolition of current buildings and structures, is underway.
Phase two, commences within 60 days, and involves completing the marine works, which includes material purchases, an expansion of the berthing capacity of the port, and upgrades to existing infrastructure.
In phase three, the port will complete the landside works, including the new arrivals terminal and plaza, Junkanoo Museum, retail Market Place, amphitheater, and other food and beverage and entertainment spaces.
The funds raised through the most recent bond offering will be used to support the work of phases one and two.
In the second quarter of 2021, the port plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) to raise equity through investment in the Bahamas Investment Fund (BIF) and to raise additional debt to finalize the project.
Through the IPO, thousands of Bahamians will have an opportunity to invest in BIF, facilitating broad-based Bahamian ownership in the project, the company said.
Maura said: “We are preparing diligently for the recovery of the tourism industry and the return of millions of cruise passengers. We do not know exactly when they will be back, but we are in constant communication with local and international cruise partners to ensure that we stay ahead and are prepared.
“In addition to moving forward with our construction efforts, our significant priority is to protect our visitors, staff members, and community. We’re actively working with our partners to devise comprehensive strategies to make visiting Nassau a safe, pleasant experience for everyone involved.”