Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 2nd 2016 Contents The developers of the Barbados
beachfront property known as
The Sands, expect to complete
the development of the condo-
minium development operated
as a hotel in October this year and it will
begin accepting visitors by the end of October,
says Richard Bradford, one of the three
investors in Sandy Beach Holdings 2014.
In an interview with the Business Guardian
last week, Bradford said the project---on the
site of the old Sandy Beach Hotel at Wor-
thing---is on budget and on time. The archi-
tects for the project are Port-of-Spain firm
Gillespie & Steel, while the contractor is
Rotherley Construction of Barbados.
Bradford was joined in the interview by
Angus Young, the CEO of NCB Global Finance
on Ariapita Avenue, and Young s NCBJ col-
leagues, Herbert Hall in Jamaica and Warrick
Ward in Barbados, who were part of a tele-
The NCBJ group provided the loan financing
for the development, by way of a US$10.5
million, 18-month bridge-type loan, which
has the option to be extended by six months
and to upsize by US$1.5 million. Neither the
developers nor the financiers were willing to
discuss the interest rate on the financing.
The 87-apartment development is a mix
of studios, one bedroom, two bedroom, three
bedrooms and some penthouses. Of the 87,
the developers plan to sell about half of the
apartments to private investors and already
34 have either been sold or reserved.
The studio apartments start at US$225,000
and the three-bedroom apartments start at
US$495,000, with furniture packages avail-
"One of the first thing that captures people s
attention is the price point," said Bradford,
who owns the Italian Kitchen operation in St
James, adding: "It is unheard of to be spending
that kind of money and being on a beach in
Barbados, let alone the nicest beach on the
island s south coast."
The owners of the apartments will be able
to derive income from the hotel operation.
"It is a stand-off investment and you really
don t have to do much more than sit back
and collect your cheque."
Bradford, along with Barbadian hotelier and
past president of the Caribbean Hotel and
Tourism Association, Peter Odle, and director
of the UK-based property group Candelisa,
Abi Ekoku are the three directors of the com-
Odle will operate the hotel, which Bradford
says "has created quite a stir with the tour
operators as it is what the market wants. It
is what Barbados should have been offering
some time ago and I think it is going to create
a model that many of the hoteliers are going
to try and copy."
Bradford said: "It s a unique blend because
it is an all-inclusive property that offers
apartments rather than rooms and it s also
on the beach. The hotel is already on offer
through some of the top tour operators in
Europe and the US."
The developers purchased the property in
2014 for US$5 million after the previous
owner, Lief Brandell, who closed the hotel
Asked about the handsome tax incentives
that the Sandals property in Barbados is report-
ed to have received from the Barbados gov-
ernment, Bradford said many hoteliers on the
island are grateful to Sandals owner, Jamaican
Butch Stewart because he provided the impetus
to revive the island s hotel sector.
He said: "What Butch said was that for me
to come in and take this chance, we are going
to need the help of the Barbados government.
Since that has been set in motion, most of
what Butch received has been made available
to most of the incoming local and international
Bradford said The Sands project would ben-
efit as a result of tax relief on goods that are
not available in Barbados, although the finan-
cial modeling of project was successful even
if there was no tax accommodation from the
Barbados government. The resort will include
a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, as
well as two restaurants and two bars.
JUNE 2 • 2016 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
dimethyl ether (DME) plant at Union Estate
in La Brea.
With the financial investment decision
signed off on in September 2015, the plant is
expected to be fully operational in 2019.
Questioned as to how much progress has
been made on the plant thus far, Warner said:
"Construction on the plant has proceeded at
a pace. We ve never interrupted the construc-
tion process. What happened was that the
shareholders have been advancing equity into
the project to keep the construction going
since we were not able to draw down on the
"With the change of government, the new
administration revisited the legal documents
associated with the project and there were
some things they wanted to have changed."
But all issues have since been resolved and
the project is pressing on.
"They (the new government) had some
legitimate issues and concerns and we listened
to them and said let s work together since we
believe this to be an important project for
T&T. It took us about six months to come up
with an alternative proposal which has now
been bought into by all the shareholders in
the project and which will us allow to draw
down on the lenders contribution in the very
The trend in regional consolidation appears
to be firmly afoot with industry giants in both
telecommunications and finance either acquir-
ing outright entire companies or taking up
major positions in others. Within the last
decade, Massy has made a number of acqui-
sitions, all designed to strengthen its presence
across the region.
Asked if organic growth is on the decline
and if mergers and acquisitions will be the
order of the day for large organisations seeking
to grow their business, Warner said: "We
believe that both organic growth and acqui-
sitions will be part of our strategy moving
forward. We continue to achieve organic growth
in certain industries that have room for organic
growth and where the cost of acquiring assets
is more than we would be willing to pay for
"For example, our insurance business (Massy
United Insurance) is now the fifth largest prop-
erty and casualty insurance company in the
Caribbean and moving up. This has been
achieved basically through organic growth.
We ve been growing at roughly 25 to 40 per
cent per annum in Trinidad."
Turning his attention to acquisitions, Warner
said that certain segments make acquisitions
the more viable option.
"Car dealerships in Colombia, for example,
have proven to be a segment where we ve
found acquisitions to be the most feasible
option. Most of the dealerships tend to be
family-owned and we ve found that when
we ve bought these dealerships outright there
were a lot of efficiencies that we ve been able
to bring to these businesses. We ve been able
to grow these businesses in a territory that s
fairly new to us."
Moving Massy forward continues to be
Warner s main priority. Considering all the
challenges in the local, regional and global
economy Warner sees tremendous opportu-
nities for solid future growth.
Asked what he envisioned to be the new
growth poles for the conglomerate, the former
McKinsey partner said: "We have quite a few.
The first one would be our continued efforts
in geographic diversification. Colombia and
Guyana we believe to be economies that, in
the medium term, will provide great growth
platforms for us. Certainly in Colombia we re
getting wonderful deal flow in our automotive
Beyond geographic diversification, Warner
highlighted Massy s initiatives in the energy
sector and communications space.
"The methanol and DME plant introduces
us to the downstream petrochemical industry
which creates a number of other opportunities
for us that are under consideration and look
pretty good at this time.
"We ve also launched Massy Internet and
TV which is really a start-up business for us.
The fact that we re such a consumer-facing
organisation we believe this to be a real strength
for us in this space since we have a measure
of built-in brand recognition and access to
customers who are already part of the Massy
ecosystem. So we re building out a world-
class network and we think that this will be
a great growth platform for us moving forward."
From Page 6
Organic growth and acquisitions
The Sands development in Bdos nears completion
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