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Sagicor confirms investment in Palmyra

Published:Sunday | June 5, 2016 | 6:00 AM

Sagicor Group Jamaica has confirmed that it is investing in Palmyra Resort and Spa along with the adjoining power plant owned by Caribbean Green Power Systems Limited.

Sagicor President and CEO Richard Byles did not disclose the terms of the transaction nor the acquisition price, only that Sagicor Managed Funds had invested in the condominium resort development. It confirms a deal first reported on May 25. Sources previously said the deal was above US$50 million, not including future renovations and construction.

Both Palmyra and Caribbean Power are being sold by receiver Ken Tomlinson to recover what Palmyra's bankers - National Commercial Bank Jamaica and the former RBC Royal Bank Jamaica - have said are outstanding loans. Palmyra developer Robert Trotta denies owing the banks and has sued to recover the property. He is also claiming losses of US$110 million. The sum is equivalent to the value of the loans and other debt arranged by the banks to finance the Palmyra development.

It's understood that a meeting with bondholders - who hold a portion of the US$110m of debt - will take place in another week.

Sagicor-related entities already own seven resort properties: Hilton Rose Hall Hotel; Runaway Bay Golf Club; Jewel Runaway Bay; The Jewel Lagoon Waterpark; Jewel Paradise Cove; Jewel Dunn's River; and Double Tree by the Hilton Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Sagicor "now has J$41 billion invested in hotel properties, making us the third-largest hotel owner in Jamaica, earning on behalf of our clients, US$100 million each year and growing", said Byles in a company statement.

The Palmyra development was incomplete at its takeover by the banks in 2011.

business@gleanerjm.com