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Features - July 2010



The Bahamas Investor

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Top investors

Top investors

Snapshots of some of the most high-profile Bahamas investors

The Bahamas Investor Magazine
June 22, 2010
June 22, 2010

Sol Kerzner
Personal profile: Born 1935 Johannesburg, South Africa; founder and owner of Kerzner International; married with five children.

Portfolio: Primarily hotel and resort development. He built his first hotel in 1964 in Durban, South Africa, which led to a national Southern Sun chain of 31 hotels; developed destination mega-resorts Sun City and The Lost City in South Africa; developed the $1.5-billion, 2,000-room Atlantis The Palm, in Dubai.

Investment projects in The Bahamas: Kerzner acquired over 600 acres of Paradise Island and built Atlantis Paradise Island, which features 20 million gallons worth of salt- and freshwater lagoons containing some 50,000 sea creatures, a life-size replica of a Mayan temple, 63-acre water adventure park and 2,900 rooms.

Estimated dollar value: More than $2 billion.

Future: Further development of the marina area of Paradise Island, a resort hotel in Las Vegas built in partnership with MGM Mirage, more developments based on the Atlantis Paradise Island business model tailor-made for Europe and the Far East.

Sound bite: “I’ve always said that the thing that drives me is not the money–although there are obviously advantages to living like this–but the excitement of the business.”

Johnny Depp
Personal profile: Hollywood actor born in Kentucky 1963. Depp has starred in a string of blockbuster movies including Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has two children with partner Vanessa Paradis.

Portfolio: Reportedly owns properties in France and the UK, a $2 million apartment in Los Angeles and an island in The Bahamas, among others.

Investment projects in The Bahamas: Bought Little Hall’s Pond Cay, a 35-acre island in the Exumas, while filming Pirates of the Caribbean in 2004. The island has six beaches, several small residences and a fleet of golf carts.

Estimated dollar value: He reportedly paid $3.6 million for the island, while the Pirates series of movies have brought immeasurable amounts of publicity to the country.

Future: “I look forward to my kids growing up on the island, spending months out of the year here … learning about sea life and how to protect sea life.”

Sound bite: Speaking about the island, Depp told Vanity Fair: “I don’t think I’d ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom. And that rare beast–simplicity–can be had.”

Joe Lewis
Personal profile: Founded a private investment company 30 years ago called Tavistock Group.

Portfolio: Tavistock Group invests in private residential properties, real estate development, financial services, manufacturing and distribution, restaurants, entertainment, life sciences, sports teams and sporting events, and oil and gas sectors. The company is based in Florida.

Investment projects in The Bahamas: The company has partnered with golf champions Tiger Woods and Ernie Els to develop a high-end golfing resort and residential community in Nassau called Albany. The 565-acre oceanfront development includes a luxury boutique hotel, a mega-yacht marina, restaurant, pool, water park, children’s clubhouse, full-service spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre and an equestrian centre. Residential offerings include cottages, custom home lots and marina residences, with pre-sales targets of $400-$500 million.

Estimated dollar value: The developers have invested around $250 million to date.

Future: Albany is set to hire 200-300 full-time employees by the 2010 summer soft opening.

Sound bite: “The Bahamas is still a great place to be, and New Providence is the right place to be in The Bahamas. All these factors have allowed us to buck the trend.”–Christopher Anand, Albany’s managing partner.

Mickey & Ted Arison
Personal profiles: Micky Arison dropped out of the University of Miami to work at Carnival Cruise Lines, which was established by his father Ted, who founded it with one ship–Mardi Gras–in 1972. Micky Arison was appointed chairman of the board of directors in 1990, succeeding his father. He is married with two children; his father died in 1999.

Portfolio: Carnival Corp is now the largest cruise operator in the world with 82 ships. It had revenues of more than $11.8 billion in 2006. Micky Arison is also majority owner of the NBA’s Miami Heat and is one of the world’s richest businessmen, with his wealth pegged at $6.1 billion.

Investment projects in The Bahamas: Built the 867-room Carnival Crystal Palace and Casino Resort on Cable Beach, Nassau; established the multi-million-dollar Grand Bahama Shipyard facility through a joint venture with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

Estimated dollar value: Crystal Palace Resort and Casino in The Bahamas cost an estimated $250 million to build. The shipyard generates an estimated $40 million a year for the local economy. The cruise industry is worth hundreds of millions to The Bahamas each year.

Future: Launching a new class of superliners over the next several years. These ships are the largest in the Carnival fleet, capable of carrying 3,652 passengers each, weighing 130,000 tons and costing $740 million to build.

Sound bite: “Working with various aspects of the company taught me that if you’ve got the right people in the right spots, let them do their thing. My management style is not to get in their way.”–Micky Arison, NYSE Magazine (April 2003).

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