Wed | Dec 2, 2020

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund secures funding for new acquisitions

Published:Friday | June 7, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Eppley Caribbean Property Fund Limited (ECPF or the Value Fund), a publicly listed property fund in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago has closed on a J$650-million bridge facility from NCB Capital Markets Limited to partially fund the acquisition of additional income producing commercial real estate assets, including the Value Fund’s first three properties in Jamaica.

According to Nicholas Scott, chairman, Eppley Caribbean Property Fund, the acquisition of the properties are 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.

“We are pleased to confirm that we have now obtained a bridge loan from NCB Capital Markets Limited to partially fund our acquisition of an additional property in Barbados and our first three properties in Jamaica. 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 providing an update on the disclosure that ECPF had 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 made in May, Scott reiterated the company’s intention to allow Jamaican investors to gain access 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.

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

ECPF 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.

ECPF 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 (JSE) Junior Market to the JSE’s Main Market.