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Gov’t to have shares in Buccament Bay Resort

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The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines will be a partner in the new Buccament Bay Resort project, as some of the land on which the project sits is owned by the State.

Last week Friday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was joined at Cabinet room by Brian Glasgow of KPMG, and purchasers Barry Ferdinand and Jonathan Milne. Kelly Glass, the third purchaser, was out of state.

A heads of terms agreement, which demonstrates intent, was signed on Tuesday, October 16 between the purchasers and Glasgow, who is the trustee in bankruptcy for Harlequin Properties Limited, the former owners of the resort.

The Prime Minister said he had hoped the Buccament Bay Resort would reopen for Christmas, however he is pleased the agreement had been signed.

Gonsalves stated the Government is a partner in the venture because four and a half acres of the project, of which two acres are beach front, are owned by the Government.

He said the acreage owned by the Government will be considered as seven and a quarter per cent non-voting preference shares.

The Prime Minister said that the new purchasers have also asked to lease 3000 square feet of seabed for the placement of a jetty, so terms would have to be agreed upon in relation to that as well.

Gonsalves disclosed that several buildings at the resort have been constructed on another parcel of land, known as Lot 20, which is owned by a different company than the previous owners. He said the plan is for Government to acquire that land “for the purposes of tourism development,” so that it can be part of the new purchasers’ development at Buccament.

Glasgow explained the post of trustee is facilitated by the investors who comprise around 3000 persons, most of whom are based in the UK. He said he has been involved in negotiations with various groups of prospective purchasers over the last several months.

One of the three purchasers of the Buccament Bay Resort, Barry Ferdinand, stated he is very pleased to be involved in the project. The Apogee co-founder described the process as one of the most difficult transactions he has been involved with. Ferdinand said he has some emotional attachment to the project as he is Vincentian and has a vested interest in this country.

Ferdinand commended Prime Minister Gonsalves for his input in the project, noting that he is very impressed with him as a person. He pledged, on behalf of the other partners, to do their best.

Ferdinand said he surrounds himself with people who have better skills than he does and he is pleased with the core skills of his business partners.

According to Ferdinand, they will create an open company with the setting up of a board of directors, disclosing that this was not so in the previous administration of the resort.

Scottish Investor, Jonathan Milne, stated that alot has been done and there is still alot to do. He said he has hopes of opening the resort to an “excellent standard in the very near future”. He expressed his pleasure to be in partnership with the others on the project.

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