Business

Eppley to control Fortress Caribbean Property Fund

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Fortress Fund Managers Ltd; Alleyne, Aguilar & Altman Ltd ('Altman Real Estate') and Eppley Fund Managers Ltd have entered an arrangement which will see Eppley assuming all investment management and advisory responsibilities for Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Ltd SCC.

Under the agreement, Eppley Ltd will acquire the unlisted common shares of the fund now held by Fortress and Altman Real Estate, and will also assume control and management of the fund.

In a release yesterday, Eppley said it sees an opportunity to expand operations of the fund across the region and to offer wider diversification, both in terms of geography and asset mix. It added that the fund is liquid enough to streamline and improve operations for the benefit of all investors.

“We are very excited to acquire the management of a high-quality collection of real estate assets in Barbados and the eastern Caribbean. We look forward to expanding the size and scope of the fund by taking advantage of real estate opportunities across the region. Eppley has a track record of delivering consistent and attractive returns for its shareholders, and this further diversifies our investments and continues to broaden our reach across the Caribbean,” Nicholas Scott, managing director of Eppley said.

The agreement has received the full support of the fund's board of directors but remains subject to regulatory and other approvals. The listed cellular shares held by the over 2,000 individual and institutional investors in the fund's two cells (Value Fund and Development Fund) and are not a part of this agreement.

Eppley said the changes in management will enable Fortress to focus exclusively on its core Caribbean and global fund management business, encompassing 13 other funds and more than 10,000 clients. Fortress and its related entities continue to be among the largest shareholders in, and tenants of, the fund.

It is expected that Fortress will continue to have a representative on the board of the fund, while Altman Real Estate will continue to offer services to the fund on a competitive basis. The arrangement will enable the continuation of the expertise and knowledge of the advisers for the assets in Barbados, St Lucia and Canouan (St Vincent), while allowing Eppley the flexibility to execute its strategy to improve the performance of the fund for the benefit of all investors.

“Fortress believes strongly in real estate as an asset class, particularly for long-term investors like pension funds. While we will continue to invest in real estate through the fund, we have made a decision to no longer manage it directly.We are delighted to have found an organisation of Eppley's calibre to take over management of this particular fund,” said managing director of Fortress, Roger Cave.

Eppley Ltd is a listed investment company that originates and invests primarily in credit opportunities in Jamaica, the Caribbean and Central America for its own account and on behalf of its investors. Eppley Ltd also owns and operates commercial real estate in Jamaica alongside its joint venture partners.

In 2017, Eppley Ltd collaborated with NCB Capital Markets to launch the Caribbean Mezzanine Fund, the first mezzanine and credit fund focused on the Caribbean.

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