Sygnus closes US$9-m financing
Sygnus Capital has successfully raised US$9m to help build a government complex in the Bahamas.

Sygnus Capital Limited has successfully raised US$9 million by way of alternative financing to rebuild and restore the new Eight Mile Rock West End government complex based in The Bahamas.

Sygnus Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Sygnus Group, acted as lead arranger of the private-public partnership (PPP) with the Bahamian Government and PPP Investment and Construction Company Limited (PPPICCL) to raise the financing. Simplified Lending, based in The Bahamas, acted as the financial advisor for the deal through its commercial loan brokering division.

Financing of the Eight Mile Rock West End project, which has a revised budget of US$31.1 million was funded through a combination of equity, subordinated notes from Sygnus Credit Investments and senior debt (bond and construction loan). The West End complex, stalled by the most devastating hurricane in Grand Bahama's history followed by the fallout from the worst pandemic in more than a century, includes two large buildings that will house all government services.

It will also include offices and facilities for the courts, Royal Bahamas Police Force, Immigration, Customs, National Insurance Board, passport office, social services, driver's licence and registration, and other government departments. The government complex is slated for a third quarter 2022 completion date. Site preparation, infrastructure and construction are expected to generate up to 100 jobs.

Commenting on the successful capital raise, Gregory Samuels, senior vice-president & head of investment banking at Sygnus, said Sygnus is pleased to have partnered with PPPICCL and the Bahamian Government on this private-public partnership project, which will deliver a state of-the-art multipurpose government services building on the island of Grand Bahama.

According to Samuels, “this facility was carefully structured to meet the requirements of all the stakeholders in the partnership including the senior lender and the other subordinated investor so that the project is able to hit its projected timelines for completion and delivery. In addition, this facility further demonstrates our strength as the regional leader in alternative investments and we look forward to working with other governments across the region on projects of this nature as we continue to increase our footprint in the English, Spanish and Dutch Caribbean.”

For his part, Sygnus CEO Berisford Grey remarked that, “Sygnus has always been about long-term partnership, relationships and creative financing solutions. As a result we are delighted to expand our relationship with Simplified Lending and The Bahamas Government by participating in a project that is so critical to the Bahamian economy on Grand Bahama, an island that suffered a double whammy with Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19.”

He added that, “from the time we opened our doors in 2016, we wanted to break the mold of traditional financing solutions by using financing structures much more customised and aligned to the needs of a project or a client, and, in this case, the solution we were able to provide de-risks the project and allows for local and/or more traditional funding to step in when construction is complete.”

Speaking on behalf of The Bahamian Government, Minister Ginger Moxley, the Member of Parliament for Pine Ridge in West Grand Bahama, applauded the teams at Sygnus and Simplified Lending for their significant role in this project. She argued that, “the construction, outfitting and opening of this complex will jumpstart the economy of West Grand Bahama and give the people a new beginning.”

“This project could not have come back to life so quickly had it not been for the two companies that joined forces to provide flexible funding,” declared Minister Moxley adding, “I want to commend Simplified Lending, our own Bahamian private financial institution and alternative funding firm, and Jamaica-based Sygnus, one of the Caribbean's leading alternative investment companies, for believing in The Bahamas and especially in this key project in West Grand Bahama.”

BY DURRANT PATE Observer business writer

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