Global Ports Holding Signs MOU for St. John's Cruise Port in Antigua
Global Ports Holding Plc ("GPH" or "Group"), the world's largest independent cruise port operator, is pleased to announce that, following bilateral discussions, over the last few months, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to negotiate a long-term concession for cruise port operations for Antigua, including St. John's cruise port where most of the passenger traffic is concentrated. The concession will also include certain retail outlets in the project area.
Under the terms of the MoU, both parties have now entered into an exclusive period. During this period GPH and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will continue to carry out further extensive due diligence and both parties will work towards the successful signing of the concession agreement.
Following the successful execution of the concession agreement, GPH will use its global expertise and operating model to manage the cruise port operations in the islands of Antigua. In addition, GPH is willing to invest into a material upgrade of the St. John's cruise port including the construction of a new pier that will allow the port to handle Oasis class ships, as well as investing in improving the current retail facilities and designing and constructing of new purpose-built retail and F&B facilities.
GPH is committed to not only improving the overall cruise passenger experience in Antigua & Barbuda but we are also committed to driving significant economic benefits for the local residents through improving the facilities in and around the port and driving increased passenger spend in the destination. In addition, as part of the proposal, GPH, will establish a charitable foundation to support essential social programs in Antigua and Barbuda.
St John's cruise port offers cruise passengers an opportunity to enjoy a range of experiences and a host of attractions. From the Unesco listed historic Nelson's Dockyard and fortifications at Shirley Heights through to the town of St John's itself or any of a large number of beaches that offer a range of activities to suit a wide range of passenger needs. In 2018, St. John's cruise port will welcome c800k passengers, the completion of the new pier and upgrade of the facilities are expected to lead to a rise in passenger volumes to over a 1m in the medium term.
The signing of the Concession Agreement is subject to both parties' agreement on its final terms. Signing is expected to occur in H1 2019, although there can be no certainty as to the timing or that the terms of a concession agreement will be agreed. A further announcement will be made when it is appropriate to do so.
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