First Rock expands in Latin America
Closes major Costa Rican real estate deal with Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque, more to come in CaribbeanFriday, May 14, 2021
BY DURRANT PATE
Jamaican-based real estate development and private equity outfit First Rock Capital Holdings is undergoing a massive expansion in the region with three major deals about to be inked.
The company, through its Costa Rican subsidiary, First Rock Capital LATAM SA, has closed on one already which is a real estate deal with two other deals about to be closed in Guyana.
The Caribbean Business Report ( CBR) understands that the Guyanese deals could be signed as soon as next week.
All three deals are expected to cost billions of dollars but in the case of the Costa Rican transaction, First Rock is partnering with Costa Rican engineering company Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque (GIP) to execute this project in the Costa Rican capital of San José. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque has positioned itself in the Costa Rican market as a leader in the development of high-rise buildings and the sale of thousands of apartments and offices.
Costa Rican Torres Los
The project being executed by First Rock and Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque, dubbed “Torres Los Yoses,” is a multi-storey residential development. This development will see over 160 one-bedroom units being developed.
The transaction represents First Rock's third in the last 18 months, as it continues to increase its asset allocation in Costa Rica. In commenting on the transaction, GIP President Jose Luis Salinas said, “our company, which has been in the business for 28 years, is proud of this transaction. We have a lot experience dealing with international investors and we have been very lucky that First Rock was recommended by one of the best deal advisors in the country, Alejandro Antillón.”
Antillón, who is partner at Ernst & Young (EY) in Costa Rica, has emphasised that Costa Rica represents a great investment opportunity to experienced sophisticated investors such as First Rock Capital. According to him, “for us (EY ) it has been a great experience to work alongside First Rock's team, they have evidenced a deep understanding of the industry and have taken advantage of it to make very solid investments in Costa Rica. We look forward to continue working for such a distinguished client.”
First Rock Group's Executive Vice-President Pierre Shirley stated that “GIP is a very well-established developer in Costa Rica that has successfully executed over 13 projects in the last few decades. We established a relationship with GIP two years ago, having bought into one of their projects at the time and to date we are very satisfied with the relationship and the performance of these assets. It is on this premise that we feel confident in strengthening our relationship with GIP and decided to partner with them on the Torres Los Yoses development as we continue to explore opportunities in Costa Rica.”
Targeting other countries
Speaking with CBR, the founders of First Rock, Ryan Reid and Dr Michael Banbury, hinted that the real estate development and private equity will be exploring other countries in the region for investment in the near future.
According to them, “diversification has been a key part of our risk mitigation strategy. We constantly examine our portfolio of assets to ensure we are effectively aligned across jurisdictions. It is with this in mind that we have closed on this monumental transaction in Costa Rica and this cautious aggression will certainly see us in other countries in the very near future. Taking an entrepreneurial approach towards the business of real estate is of paramount importance to us.”
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