Global Ports Holding Awarded Tender for Nassau Cruise Port


By The Maritime Executive 02-25-2019 07:31:21

Global Ports Holding Plc ("GPH" or "Group"), the world's largest independent cruise port operator, is pleased to announce that, following a competitive request for proposal process the Government of the Bahamas has awarded, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd ("NCP"), a consortium comprising GPH, the Bahamian Investment Fund ("BIF") and the Yes Foundation the cruise port tender for a 25-year concession for the Prince George Wharf and related areas, at Nassau cruise port.

Nassau is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world with passengers attracted to its natural beauty, unique characteristics and cultural heritage, while its close proximity to the United States means it is within easy cruising distance of the primary home ports in the United States. The Nassau cruise port is one of the leading destination ports in the world and welcomes 3.7 million passengers per annum.

The Group, NCP and the Government of the Bahamas will now work towards agreeing the terms of a concession agreement. Following the successful execution of the concession agreement, GPH as part of NCP, will use its global expertise and operating model to manage the cruise port operations in Nassau. In addition, NCP will invest in expanding the capacity of the port (from six berths to eight berths) as well as taking a number of innovative steps to transform the cruise port experience for both passengers and locals. The transformation will include the building of a new iconic terminal building, the creation of an event and entertainment area, investment into improving the current retail facilities and the design and construction of new food and beverage facilities as well as integration of the port into Bay Street and downtown Nassau. The new port is expected to act as a catalyst for the wider redevelopment of downtown Nassau.

NCP will be 49% owned by the Group, 49% owned BIF and 2% owned by Yes Foundation, with Global Ports Holding operating the port. BIF is a Bahamian retail fund which will give a unique opportunity for tens of thousands of Bahamian investors to invest in equity and debt in the project. The fund's minimum investment for equity will be 1,000 BSD to facilitate participation by small retail investors. Bond investments will be targeted at minimum 50,000 BSD. The YES Foundation will be established as a charitable entity promoting Youth, Sports and Education for Bahamians. Its primary focus will be on helping young Bahamaians succeed by investing in programs to help ensure that they develop the leadership, technical, and life skills to earn a livelihood.

GPH is in advanced stage discussions with local and international banks over long term bank financing for the concession. Full financial closure and commencement of the concession is expected to occur in H2 2019, although there can be no certainty as to the timing or that the final conditions will be satisfied. A further announcement will be made when it is appropriate to do so.

Global Ports Holding, Chairman and Co-Founder Mehmet Kutman said:

"I am delighted that Nassau Cruise Port Ltd has been awarded the cruise port tender for Prince George Wharf at Nassau Cruise Port. This represents GPH's third new port in the Caribbean in the last twelve months and is a historic moment for the group. The GPH team very much look forward to working with our partners and the people of the Bahamas to reinvigorate this iconic cruise port and the city of Nassau."

Global Ports Holding CEO, Emre Sayin, said:

"We are very happy that the Government of the Bahamas has awarded GPH and its local partners the cruise port tender for Prince George Wharf at Nassau Cruise Port. The addition of Nassau to our portfolio will mark an important inflection point in our strategy and growth aspirations. Nassau will become the biggest cruise port in our portfolio and will increase our passenger volumes by 50%.

GPH has an enviable track record of managing cruise port operations around the world and we very much look forward to working with our partners to transform both the cruise port and downtown Nassau for the benefit of Bahamians, cruise passengers and cruise lines. We will now work with all parties towards signing a concession for the wonderful destination of Nassau."

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.