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Nassau Palm's New Owners In $8m Upgrades

A private equity group plans to invest $8 million in upgrading the Nassau Palm Resort after completing the downtown Nassau property’s acquisition on Friday.

Sunset Equities, a consortium of Caribbean and international investors, pledged in a statement that it would hire Bahamian contractors, and local labour, to work on renovations that are set to start in three months and be complete by November 2014.

Renovation work on the 183-room Nassau Palm, which has been for sale for three years, is projected to create 75 construction jobs, plus around 70 permanent posts once the hotel reopens.

The ownership change/upgrade is perfectly timed, as it will dovetail nicely with plans to revitalise Bay Street and downtown Nassau, plus the potential acquisition just down the road at the British Colonial Hilton.

Tribune Business exclusively revealed the Sunset Equities deal last month, and the fact it was set to close by end-May.

The West Bay Street property, located opposite downtown Nassau’s popular Junkanoo Beach, has been on the market since late 2010, but two previous sales fell through. One of those deals involved an offer by a Bahamian group.

Valentine Grimes, the Bahamian attorney for the vendor, Genwood Ltd, told this newspaper at the time: “The purchasers are known to the Bahamian Government. They come very highly recommended. It’s a non-Bahamian group, and they come with a good reputation.

“In recent months there have been four or five groups, and in fact we had it under contract previously with a Bahamian group. That, for various reasons, did not complete.

“After that contract fell through, we again put it on the market and entered into another contract with a non-Bahamian group.”

Tribune Business understands that the Nassau Palm’s owner has actively been seeking to sell the resort since late 2010. Prior to the Bahamian group’s emergence, a deal with another overseas buyer also fell through, making the Sunset Equities deal the third it had entered into.

Tribune Business sources suggested the purchase price was less than the $6.8 million paid by Warwick International Hotels & Resorts to acquire the 250-room Paradise Island Harbour Resort in December 2012.

Mr Grimes acted for the vendor in that deal, too, and Tribune Business understands that the shareholders in Genwood Ltd, the Nassau Palm’s holding company, are Driftwood Hospitality and the Miami-based Gencom Group. The resort was financed by the private equity arm of Lehman Brothers, the bankrupt investment bank.

In the weekend statement, Mr Grimes also confirmed Tribune Business’s previous revelation that the Nassau Palm’s new owner is set to brand the resort under a major international flag - thought likely to be something like the Marriott.

Mr Grimes said: “The completion of this transaction is a good indicator of the high level of investor confidence in the Bahamas, its government and its people.

“The plans that the new investors have for the property, in particular to brand it, will significantly assist in the continued redevelopment of the downtown Nassau area.”

Mr Grimes confirmed that as part of the transaction, all the Nassau Palm’s former employees - numbering less than 100 - received a severance pay and their salaries, totalling around $400,000, the same day as the sale.

Sunset Equities said it plans to provide hospitality and customer service training across all departments, including executive level positions. Bahamian law firm Lennox Paton provided legal advice to it on the transaction.

The statement described Sunset Equities as a group focused on acquiring hotels throughout the Caribbean region, making the tourism model more sustainable and maintaining environmentally-sound decisions. It is looking for other acquisition opportunities beyond the Nassau Palm Resort.

The Nassau-based Sterling Financial Group (SFGI ), headed by David Kosoy, provided the Nassau Palm acquisition financing through one of its

managed mortgage funds, the New Providence Income Fund. It provided financial advisory services to Sunset Equities Ltd.

Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments, said: “I am very excited about the purchase by this group, which has tremendous capacity and the experience needed to revitalise the entire downtown strip with a well-known US branded hotel.

“The property has been sitting for a very long time, so this transaction will offer significant benefits, and play a major role in creating an invaluable experience for our local and tourist market.

“We supported this group because of their ability to expand the tourism product beyond this one acquisition, with major international partners, and anticipate a growing partnership that will create diverse, sustainable opportunities for the Bahamas and Bahamians.”

Comments

Puzzled 7 years, 5 months ago

This sounds like good news, but can anyone tell us who Sunset Equities are? Look them up on the web and there is nothing! There is a Sunset Equities that seems to own or manage Wendys restaurants. There is no actual Sunset Equities webpage. This is not unusual for foreign companies making investments in the Bahamas, (Phone company) Bluewater and BTC, (ocean driven air conditioning and power) OTE Plc working on two projects with one with Baha Mar the other with BEC. There seems to be another Bluewater mentioned in the newsworthy Blackbeard Cay development for Carnival. Maybe I do not understand the way of foreign investment and that the optimum method of doing business here is to form a shell company far divorced from the holding company so that if anything goes wrong, the principals can just melt away to where they came from until the next opportunity arises.Take a look around at the number of failed projects around the Bahamas. Is there no due diligence done here or does the government get so excited at the thought of a big investment that they forget all the rules

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hurricane 7 years, 5 months ago

The actually need $80 million in renovations. I made the mistake of staying there one Xmas to be close to Junkanoo...never again. That place is a dump.

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USAhelp 7 years, 5 months ago

I guess the Bahamian investors that failed decided to invest in the USA

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BetzabethTaylor 7 years ago

As an advice, NEVER buy a http://www.timesharescam.com/blog/154...">timeshare ownership anywhere. It is a scam and the so-called timeshare you buy is sold over and over again to other people. It is very difficult to sell your timeshare now and renting isn't in the deal. It will cost you more to buy a timeshare and maintenance fee than to rent a hotel room or a full ownership of a condo. Don't do it

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cgold 6 years, 6 months ago

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cgold 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad that a group of hard working, caring citizens have managed to give this building back to the community. I think the renovations took a long time but were worth it.. i wonder if they called http://www.theflagcompany.us.com/hist...">The Flag Company to get some advice.

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cgold 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad the upgrades will include, among other enhancements, new flooring, mattresses, bedding, furniture and electronics and I'd love to see an http://homesteadtimbers.com/products/...">example. The resorts will open in the spring of 2014 for their summer season for family vacations.

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

The Nassau Palm Resort is a luxury property like those from http://www.realtytrustauctions.com/lu...">http://www.realtytrustauctions.com/lu.... It is true that the owner has to invest a lot of money on its renovation but at the end he will have a lot of success as many people enjoy spending their vacations there. It is situated in a nice area and it provides a lot of facilities.

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

Besides the beautiful location, the Nassau Palm Resort looks amazing after renovation. It has a great interior design and the room are decorated in a fancy and modern style. You may find there elegant carpets from http://www.mcswaincarpets.com">http://www.mcswaincarpets.com, modern furniture and comfortable beds with tempurpedic mattresses. It really worths all the money!

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

This renovation project is great as in this way the resort will be completely transformed and people will love spending time there. Moreover even if the costs of remodelling are increased, both the owner but also the http://dialplumbing.com/">contractor will have a lot of benefits at the end.

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

This is one of the best resorts in the area. Besides the great architecture and http://homesteadtimbers.com/products/...">builder friendly techniques, the owner hired a great interior designer who decorated the interiors in a modern and fancy style. The upgrade cost may be increased as there are a lot of changes that the owner wants to do.

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

I've recently bought an old resort in California and I've already started to renovate it. The costs for renovation are pretty high and there are many problems that have to be fixed. I have to replace the water pipes, to paint the walls and so on. If you http://pinnaclebuilt.com/market/canton/">click here you may see how my resort is supposed to look like after renovation.

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

Besides the bold interior design, the Nassau Resort's owner hired the http://www.wilsonsground.com/lawn-lan...">Wilson's company in order to fix the landscaping issues. They've created some luxuriant gardens with roses, tulips and an amazing fountain in the backyard.

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holymoly 6 years, 5 months ago

Owning a resort is a great business. I've recently bought a foreclosure property from http://www.springfieldballoon.com/rem...">www.springfieldballoon.com/ and I am planing to renovate it and to transform it on a beautiful and fancy resort.

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TheFixer 6 years, 4 months ago

8 million is really a big amount of cash I don't know if it worth it. I would also like to http://www.vistancia.com/vibrant-comm...">find out more about real estate because I'm thinking about buying a new house.

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