Kerzner International has made available a million ordinary shares to the local Bahamian market through the issue of ten million Bahamian Depository Receipts (BDRs) – representing a total issue amount of over $40 million.
According to the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services and Investments, this is double the amount called for in its Heads of Agreement signed with the Bahamas Government in connection with Phase III of the Atlantis Paradise Island expansion programme. Importantly, she says, it is indicative of Kerzner’s commitment to the people of The Bahamas, and also demonstrates confidence in the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX), an important part of the financial services sector of The Bahamas.
This is the first time that BDRs have been issued, with the stock offering the largest ever made on BISX. *”This offering of BDRs provides a wonderful opportunity for Bahamians to invest directly in both the tourism industry in The Bahamas and to have access to international capital markets,”* continues Minister Maynard-Gibson.
The shares are being offered through Fidelity Merchant Bank and Trust, depositary and transfer agent. Fidelity Capital Markets Ltd. is Kerzner’s financial advisor and lead placement agent for the offering.
Bahamian investors acquiring the Kerzner BDR (modelled after the same concept as an American, European and Global Depository Receipts) will have beneficial ownership of KZL ordinary shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Features of the offering include:
. a stake in Kerzner Internationa worldwide, including the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas
. the same ownership benefits as KZL ordinary shareholders
. denominated in Bahmian Dollars; no exchange control approval required
Fidelity Merchant Bank’s Chairman and CEO, Anwer Sunerji, hopes this move by Kerzner will pave the way for other Bahamas-based companies that are listed on foreign exchanges to make shares available in The Bahamas. He says it is a real shot in the arm for the capital markets and the economy of the jurisdiction, providing BISX with enormous prestige and respect. Other regional exchanges reportedly do not have the equivalent of a BDR.
Keith Davies, Acting CEO of BISX, adds that the offering is a tremendously positive step forward, confirming that he worked along with the Central Bank and the Securities Commission to make the offering a reality.