Friday 20 September, 2019

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund secures funding for new acquisitions

Nicholas Scott, Chairman, Eppley Caribbean Property Fund.

Nicholas Scott, Chairman, Eppley Caribbean Property Fund.

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund Limited (ECPF or Value Fund), a publicly-listed property fund in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago has closed on a $650 million bridge facility to partially fund the acquisition of commercial real estate assets, including three properties in Jamaica.

“We are pleased to confirm that we have now obtained a bridge loan from NCB Capital Markets Limited (NCB Capital Markets) to partially fund our acquisition of an additional property in Barbados and our first three properties in Jamaica,” said Nicholas Scott, Chairman, Eppley Caribbean Property Fund.

The acquisition of the properties is consistent with the company’s previously announced strategy to increase the size and scope of the Value Fund and will provide investors with immediate diversification.

The properties are a mix of retail and industrial assets and consist of over 200,000 square feet with over 95 per cent occupancy and an average net operating income yield of approximately 10 per cent,” Scott said in a statement.

Scott also reiterated the company’s intention to allow Jamaican investors to gain access to its regional portfolio of commercial real estate assets.

“We look forward to giving Jamaican investors a means of accessing a portfolio of high-quality, cash-flow producing commercial properties spread throughout the Caribbean in a liquid, low-cost and tax-efficient form,” he said.

What is more, ECPF has engaged NCB Capital Markets, to provide financial advice to the Value Fund regarding a cross-listing of its Value Fund shares on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Subject to regulatory and other constraints, ECPF will provide additional information to the market about the cross-listing at the appropriate time, Scott said.

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund has been around for nearly 20 years and is listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange and the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange.

ECPF announced at its AGM in February 2019 that it intends to apply to cross-list its Value Fund shares in Jamaica by the end of the second quarter, making ECPF the only regional real estate platform listed on all three major stock exchanges in the Caribbean.

Since acquiring control of ECPF in May 2018, the Value Fund’s performance has dramatically improved.  For the first six months of this financial year, the Value Fund’s net operating income funds from operations and earnings attributable to shareholders have all increased by at least 50 per cent.

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund is managed by Eppley Fund Managers Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eppley Limited, a publicly listed company, which invests in credit, mezzanine financing and real estate.

Since being listed in 2013, Eppley Limited has delivered a cumulative average return to its shareholders of over 34 per cent and recently migrated from the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s Junior Market to the JSE’s Main Market.

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