| TheBahamasInvestor.com |
November 29, 2011
November 30, 2011
The new buyer of Atlantis luxury resort shares Kerzner International’s commitment to continue future capital expenditure and maintenance of the resort at levels sustained over the years, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced in Parliament Tuesday.
Kerzner International proposes to transfer its ownership of the Atlantis Resort and Paradise Island properties, including the One and Only Ocean Club, to Brookfield Asset Management, a publicly traded Canadian company with some $159 billion in assets.
“I note that Kerzner’s transfer of its Bahamian assets to Brookfield will result in the conversion of that company’s $175-million loan to Kerzner International into equity,” Ingraham told his parliamentary colleagues in a televised parliamentary meeting held shortly after 3pm today. “Brookfield will now stand in Kerzner’s shoes in relation to Atlantis’ debt.”
Kerzner’s debt currently stands at $2.3 billion.
The prime minister disclosed that he met with representatives of Brookfield on two occasions and held a number of additional meetings with Atlantis owner/operator Sir Sol Kerzner in connection with the proposed change in ownership of the Paradise Island properties.
Employing nearly 8,000 Bahamians, Kerzner International is the single largest private sector employer in The Bahamas. It accounts for five per cent of the nation’s employed labour force.
The prime minister credits the resort as “overwhelmingly responsible for the revitalization and expansion of the Bahamian tourism sector.”
“Its development on Paradise Island created the premier warm weather destination in our region,” says Ingraham.
Through its payroll, the company injects $189 million into the economy annually. According to the government each direct job at Kerzner creates an additional 1.25 to 1.5 indirect jobs in the economy, that is, anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 additional jobs.
“Fifteen percent of all jobs in our economy are related directly to the operations of Kerzner International in The Bahamas,” says Ingraham.
Under the new deal with Brookfield, Atlantis Paradise Island and the One and Only Ocean Club will continue to be managed and operated by Kerzner International.
“The acquisition of the Kerzner International’s Bahamian properties fits into the vision of Brookfield, which has a strong cash flow and balance sheet permitting it to provide essential financial capital at a time of global economic and financial uncertainty,” said Ingraham
“This is especially important given our interest in ensuring that the new ownership of Atlantis will provide continued security of employment for the 8,000 Bahamians employed there.”
Ingraham said he has been assured that Brookfield will further invest the same levels of resources into local and international marketing to support tourism in The Bahamas and to ensure the brand’s visibility.
He added that the government looks forward to a strong working relationship with Brookfield.
Atlantis by the numbers (annually)