[Nassau, Bahamas, May 4, 2020] — Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. (NCP) today announced that it has commenced a bond issue as a private placement offering. The Bond Facility will have a 20-year final maturity (June 30, 2040). The bond offering has been opened to the markets today and will close on May 15, 2020. Colina Financial Advisors Ltd. (CFAL) is the lead placement agent.
NCP intends to use the proceeds of the offering to fund port redevelopment costs including an extension in the berthing capacity of the port; the creation of a new inner harbour to facilitate the transfer of cruise passengers by sea; the creation of recreational, entertainment, retail, and food & beverage spaces for a seamless, pleasant experience integrated with downtown Nassau; and related design, engineering and inspection costs. Part of the proceeds will also be used to provide community contributions that will assist local entrepreneurs and merchants with enhancing their businesses and to support Bahamian ownership in the project.
Mike Maura, Jr., CEO of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., celebrated the significance of the bond issue launch. “Our entire country needs a win right now, and this bond offering is a huge step in a very positive direction for so many reasons. This launch reaffirms our company’s commitment to the Bahamian people and to seeing this national asset transformed into a singularly spectacular waterfront destination that will provide substantial benefits to our economy.”
“Additionally,” he continued, “as the construction component of the project moves forward, at least 80% of the labour required will be provided by Bahamians. Between 2020 and 2022, this project will create about 1,000 construction and permanent jobs so we’re looking forward to moving quickly through the various phases to maximize these benefits to Bahamians.”
“We’re also helping to reestablish confidence in Nassau as a destination,” he asserted. “When the tourism industry, and particularly, the cruise industry, begins to bounce back, we will be one of the first countries to feel the positive impact of the rebound. Fortunately, our country enjoys the distinct advantage of its proximity to U.S. cruise ports and the opportunity for multiple port calls in a single Bahamas itinerary. The major cruise lines have advised that 3-day cruises are at the core of their economic revival strategy, which places The Bahamas in an enviable position. Nassau will continue to be the destination to watch, for all the right reasons.”
This bond offering is a separate activity from the initial public offering (IPO) that will be placed in mid-2021 to establish equity investment in the Bahamas Investment Fund (BIF). Through the IPO, all Bahamians will have an opportunity to invest in BIF, facilitating broad-based Bahamian ownership in the project.
“We congratulate the people of The Bahamas on the redevelopment of the Nassau Cruise Port,” said Steve Moeller, SVP Commercial Development, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “We pride ourselves on offering vacation experiences of a lifetime and The Bahamas, with its warm people, beautiful islands, and over 500-year history, provides our passengers with incredible memories that last forever.”
Moeller continued, “This port development project is a significant and necessary undertaking and we believe it will contribute to the revitalization of downtown Nassau and help foster economic opportunities for Bahamians for many years to come. We can’t wait to introduce our passengers to the new Nassau Cruise Port and welcome them to The Bahamas once again.”
Regarding the progress of the company’s redevelopment efforts, Mr. Maura, Jr. confirmed that “We’re making substantial progress on the development of the project on many fronts. To date, we have completed the design of the marine works, subject to regulatory approval; completed schematic designs of landside works and have entered the design development phase; commenced final negotiations with the General Contractor for the marine works; and launched the first phase of demolition of the defunct Bahamas Customs Department warehouse building. Bahamians will see a lot of change happening around the port very soon.”
This transformative project is anticipated to have a B$16 billion cumulative impact on the Bahamian economy from 2020 to 2049 due to anticipated increases in cruise passenger arrivals, onshore rates, and cruise passenger spending.