GLOBAL PORTS HOLDING SIGNS $250 millon Hoa WITH GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS
Executives of Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH) signed a Heads of Agreement with the Government of The Bahamas today, formalizing its partnership to transform Prince George Wharf into one of the great waterfront destinations of the world. The event marks the official start of the $250 million project that will give the Bahamian cruise tourism industry the largest economic boost it has experienced in over fifty years. The signing comes after almost six months of negotiations between GPH and the Government of The Bahamas after GPH was confirmed as the winner of the government’s cruise port redevelopment RFP process in February.
“Today’s signing is an extraordinary day for the Bahamian people and for the residents of New Providence,” said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis. “We are embarking on a quarter of a billion-dollar project to redevelop what will become the iconic, world-renowned and new Nassau Cruise Port.”
“We are grateful for the support of the government and the people of The Bahamas and are delighted to serve as your partners in the redevelopment of your cruise port,” said Mehmet Kutman, Chairman of Global Ports Holding. “One of our ultimate goals for this project has always been to support the people of The Bahamas by enhancing the current tourism product through this project. This day marks the beginning of this process as we work together to create a venture that will become a long-standing, successful partnership for all. We look forward to helping you maintain this proudly Bahamian asset, which we pledge to take very good care of during our lease.”
Under the 25-year operating concession leasehold agreement, GPH will work closely with the cruise industry and Bahamian tourism stakeholders to help bring up to 2 million more cruise passengers per year to Nassau and to create over thousands of direct and indirect new jobs. It will also provide financial support to small business development, artisans, farmers, and green management projects to improve the downtown core. The project will be partially funded through the Bahamas Investment Fund (BIF), that aims to have over 20,000 Bahamian investors. BIF, the majority-Bahamian shareholder group, will own the majority of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. (NCP), which will manage and operate the port. NCP will also establish the YES Foundation, a charitable arm that will own a 2% stake in the project and will support local youth, education, and sports programs.
In July, GPH announced that it will establish its regional Caribbean and Americas Headquarters in Nassau. This was confirmed with the appointment of well-known Bahamian businessman, Mike Maura, Jr., as the Regional Director of the area.
GPH continues to actively engage local cruise stakeholders and will be finalizing the project design over the next couple of months with a plan to begin submitting construction drawings for approval before year end.
“This project is, first and foremost, about the people of The Bahamas,” Mr. Kutman added. “We want as many Bahamians as possible to be able to participate in and benefit from this effort, whether through share ownership, entrepreneurship, or other activities. The Prime Minister and his government have made this a requirement of our plan. We want to ensure that every Bahamian connected to this project is affected in very tangible, positive ways and that through NCP, we can help improve people’s lives.”
About Global Ports Holding
Global Ports Holding (LSE: GPH),is the world’s largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific regions, including extensive commercial port operations in Turkey and Montenegro. GPH operates 16 cruise ports and 2 commercial ports in 10 countries. As an independent cruise port operator, GPH serves over 8.4 million passengers annually.
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