Camper & Nicholson’s PORT LOUIS MARINA: Let the Progress Continue? By Citizens in Defence of Grenada’s Lands and Heritage
Once again, certain Spice Islanders are up in arms over proposed tourism development and this Web-Magazine has been chosen as a voice to express their concerns. We are suitably impressed. However, in their passion to object, the Citizens’ Group continue to be extremely vigorous to the point of insulting or worse, in the interests of fairness – we have modified some comments and please bear in mind, not all what is relayed necessarily reflects the views of those who do this Web-Magazine.
One year ago, in July 2009, Camper and Nicholson attempted to displace we the people from the occupation of our Lagoon Park, claiming that they needed “their property”(!!??) to be used as a construction mobilization site to facilitate the construction of additional marina berths. Some of we the people protested vehemently – Citizens in Defence of Grenada’s Lands and Heritage, boat owners, fishermen and water taxi operators whose boats were hauled up on the Lagoon Park and some residents of the Belmont/Lagoon community.
However, Camper and Nicholson had many “cheerleaders” in powerful and influential quarters – including the private sector and some key political decision makers – who suggested that Camper and Nicholsons was the “best thing since sliced bread” that Grenada had seen in a while. They told we the people that Grenada needed foreign investment and jobs and that Camper and Nicholsons would deliver both. In some quarters, persons associated with Citizens in Defence of Grenada’s Lands and Heritage were villified and ridiculed as being anti-foreign investment, anti development, detractors of progress, threatening to topple the government, racist, and spreading lies and hatred etc. etc.
So, in the name of progress and development ( “let the progress continue”?) the “powers that be” permitted Camper and Nicholson’s to occupy part of the Lagoon Park and to fill in an area adjacent to that part of the park without the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment and, as far as could have been observed without compliance to the required mitigating measures, silt traps and rock abutments. It also seemed that people’s issues were no longer of any consequence. Among these issues were:
- Absence of transparency and accountability in the transfer of the people’s property including the Lagoon to Poole Capital to Peter De Savary’s Port Louis to Camper and Nicholson
- Lack of disclosure and consultation in respect of the Environmental Impact Assessment
- Rights of traditional users of the Lagoon and the Lagoon Park
- Location of marina sewage facilities on the Island Hill, bordering Lagoon Road, opposite MTV/VOG studio
So naturally we the people are VERY interested in the performance of the Camper and Nicholson Port Louis Marina over the last year, 2009, moreso since in the Interim Accounts to June 2009, Mr. Nick Maris, Chairman and CEO of Camper and Nicholson Marinas International Ltd had advised that a construction contract was signed on 9 June 2009 for a phase of berth construction and the construction cost was budgeted at approximately EUR6.7 million (US$9.5 million). Courtesy Google, Citizens in Defence have been able to access the Statement of Accounts to December 2009 for Camper and Nicholson Marina Investments Ltd. (the marina owners). We are particularly interested in the performance of the Port Louis Marina, one of the three marinas owned by Camper and Nicholsons Marina Investments Ltd., the other two being Grand Harbour Marina in Malta and Cesme in Turkey.
CDGLH has noted the following information pertinent to Port Louis and is pleased to share it with we the people (we the people being those who wish to be associated).
1. PORT LOUIS:
The Business Review by Mr. Nick Maris, provided the following information:
Port Louis generated total revenues of Euros 0.5 million (cf. Euros 0.3m in 2008).
There was an operating loss of €2.1 million (2008: €1.9 million) after depreciation, operating and marketing costs. Operating expenses for 2009 were €1.4 million (2008 €1.6 million).
There was a pre and post tax loss of €2.5 million (2008: €1.9 million) after an interest charge of €0.4 million (2008: Nil).
Revenues for December and January, excluding berth sales, rose to €122k compared to €88k in 2008.
Phase 6 of the development was completed to provide a total of 30,000 square metres of lettable berth area.
The value of existing berths is close to $60 million (€42 million), based on the tariff price of $2,000 per square metre. The value of the berths for the fully built out marina is close to $90 million (€63 million).
1.3. Berth Sales:
The recession in the United States affected demand for berth space and the build up of occupancy was slower than planned.
There were no berth sales in 2009.
Two previously agreed long term sales were concluded in the first quarter of 2010 for a total consideration of US$436,000.
Annual berthing contracts were signed with 4 yachts to date, at an average rate equating to $105 per square metre.
One new berth sale with a value of $150,000 has been concluded in early 2010, contingent on Alien Land Holding permission
1.4. Marina Valuation:
At December 31st, 2009, Port Louis marina and reclaimed was valued at US$28.6 million by CB Richard Ellis (cf. US$27.9 million at 31 December 2008)
A total of €11.2 million negative Net Asset Value adjustment was reported in relation to the Port Louis Marina as at 31st December 2009 following adjustments for other assets and liabilities and losses.
The lower CBRE valuation reflected the difficult economic conditions which had slowed the level of berth sales and reduced the shoreside development by others in the area around the marina.
Since the financial statements are consolidated, presenting the situation of the Company and all its subsidiaries, the notes to the financial statements are very enlightening. The following were particularly noted:
2 Revenue Recognition – Licensing of super yacht berths:
A note to the financial statements, Revenue Recognition, explains that the licences of super yacht berths are classified as financial leases and all amounts receivable under such contracts are collected at the outset of the contract.
What then are the implications in respect of tax revenues for Grenada if Camper and Nicholson, as a subsequent purchaser from Port Louis, also benefits from the unusually generous tax concessions that were awarded to Peter De Savary’s companies? (Does Camper and Nicholson have tax concessions for 25 years?)
3. Lease of the Lagoon:
Camper & Nicholsons Grenada Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Camper and Nicholson Marina Investments Ltd., holds the lease of the water area of the Port Louis Marina.
According to information contained in the notes, the lease:
- is for a period of 99 years, expiring in 2106
- is non-cancellable
- has an option to extend for a further 99 years subject to negotiation.
- The rent payable is based on the square footage brought into use. (It was stated that all the available area has not been brought into use and may not be during 2010).
- Future rental payments have been stated as follows, on the assumption that the whole area is brought into use:
- Within one year – Euros 0.01m
- Between 1 and 5 years – Euros 0.05
- Over 5 years – Euros 1.58 m
- Total – Euros 1.64
What does this mean? Does this mean that Camper and Nicholson is presently not paying rental for the lease of the Lagoon area? What does “total” imply – that Euros 1.64 rental will be paid for 50,000 square metres (equivalent of Euros 32.4 per square metre)? Will this be a yearly payment? How does this compare with the total tariff charged by Camper and Nicholson? According to their own valuations US$2,000 per square metre!! How much does Grenada EARN from its Lagoon asset?
4. Due to Port Louis;
Among the non – current liabilities of the Company were the following:
An amount of €1,119,644 (2008: €1,117,073) representing a deferred consideration and retention on the initial acquisition of the Port Louis Marina.
This amount relates to a deferred consideration of US$1.5 million payable to Port Louis within 3 years from the date of transfer of assets as set out in Section 184.108.40.206. of the Master Agreement of 24th December 2007, between Camper and Nicholson Grenada Ltd and Port Louis Land Ltd.
Is this information suggesting that in fact Port Louis has only collected $650,000 so far on this transaction?
A retention of EC$234,900 (€61,379) is payable to Port Louis Ltd. pending the completion of additional works by Port Louis Ltd (as set out in Section 220.127.116.11 of the Master Agreement).
5. Internalized Manager and Investment Advisor:
The notes advised as follows on the internalized manager, Marina Management International and the internalized Investment Advisor, Camper and Nicholson Marina International Ltd:
- Manager’s Fees: The Manager and Investment Advisor were acquired in December 2008. Thus there was no external manager during the period ended December 2009 and no manager’s fees were paid.
- Business Combination: On 19th December 2008, the Group acquired 100% of the share capital of Camper & Nicholsons Marina Holdings Limited Group and Marina Management International Limited.
- (We the people recall that Camper and Nicholson Marina Holdings Limited owned the Investment Advisor, Camper and Nicholson Marina International Ltd.)
- Post Balance Sheet Events: By an extra-ordinary resolution of December 10th, 2009, Camper and Nicholson Marina International Ltd. merged with Marina Management International Ltd., acquiring its assets and liabilities in exchange for shares. The merger became effective January 1st, 2010.
6.Parent Company Investments and Subsidiaries:
Among the parent company’s , i.e. Camper and Nicholson Marina Investments Ltd,(CMNI) investments and subsidiaries are the following:
- Camper and Nicholsons Caribbean Holdings Ltd., an investment holding incorporated in the Bahamas
- Camper and Nicholsons Grenada Ltd., Property Holding, incorporated in Grenada
- Camper and Nicholsons Grenada Services Ltd., marina operator, incorporated in Grenada.
7. Points to Ponder:
- Impact on the Economy in 2009 – what was the impact on the economy during 2009 of the US$10.0 million budgeted (reference Interim Statements to June 2009) for construction of berths ? How much of that was spent in Grenada? How many jobs were created? What type of jobs? How much revenue accrued to the Treasury?
- Fiscal Incentive Package – What is the fiscal incentive package enjoyed by Camper and Nicholson? If all the revenue become due when super yacht berths are leased, how does the Government of Grenada earn revenue on the people’s asset from these lucrative long term financial leases?
- Lease Rental of the Lagoon – What are the arrangements in respect of payment of fees for lease rental? How much are the fees and when are they paid?
- Master Agreement between Port Louis and Camper and Nicholson – Is the Government of Grenada aware of the provisions of the Master Agreement between these two parties?
- Port Louis Consideration – What is the consideration for the Port Louis marina re the transactions between Camper and Nicholson and Port Louis Land and Port Louis Trading?
- We the people noted the RNS Press Release of December 27th , 2007 which advised of a transaction of US$24 million.
- We have seen the conveyance of hereditaments, of February 11th, 2008 – from Port Louis Land Limited to Camper and Nicholson Grenada Limited, recorded in the Deeds and Lands Registry, 1233/2008, on March 7th, 2008, Liber 9-2008, page 706. The consideration recorded is US$2,150,000 (receipt of which was acknowledged by the vendor).
- And now the Statement of Accounts to December 2009 makes reference to a deferred consideration of US$1.5 million payable to Port Louis within 3 years from the date of transfer of assets as set out in Section 18.104.22.168. of the Master Agreement of 24th December 2007, between Camper and Nicholson Grenada Ltd and Port Louis Land Ltd.
- How is the difference between the announced US$24m and the recorded consideration of US2.15 m accounted for?
- Does this mean that in fact Port Louis only collected US$650,000 at the time of the transaction?
- What are the additional works to be completed by Port Louis?
- What are the commitments in respect of the shoreside developments and by whom?
- Ownership of the Lagoon Park and Reclamation Rights: What is the TRUE situation in respect of the ownership of the Lagoon Park, reclamation rights and rights to build on the Lagoon Park? The following reference was made to the Lagoon Park in the operational review of the Interim Statement to June 2009:
- Port Louis has RECLAMATION RIGHTS and FREEHOLD LAND along the Southern shore of the marina.
- DETAILED PLANNING CONSENT FOR SOME 22 RESIDENTIAL UNITS WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS LAND.
- Reclamation and development, IS NOT PLANNED FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE.
In the meantime, we the people have noted that a scrap metal heap now seems to have been relocated to the Lagoon Park area. We are rather surprised given the boast of Peter De Savary and his cheer leaders about how much money was spent to clean up the dirty Lagoon. Why is Camper and Nicholsons re-creating the same unsightly scrap metal heap in the vicinity of the Lagoon Park?
We the people also understand that, in his remarks at the Fishermen’s Birthday celebrations which recently took place on the Lagoon Park, an official from the Dept. of Fisheries thanked Camper and Nicholson for permitting the use of the Lagoon Park for the celebrations??!!
The Minister for Port Louis affairs certainly owes we the people some answers:
- How did Camper and Nicholson come to own the Lagoon Park?
- Was it purchased from Peter De Savary’s Port Louis?
- Did Peter De Savary ‘s Port Louis pay the Government of Grenada EC$1.00 for this and other “people’s property”?
- Who and what conveyed the Lagoon and reclamation rights to Peter De Savary’s Port Louis?
- Was it by Deed of Rectification dated 17th December 2007, 420/2008, Liber 4 – 2008?
We the people want ANSWERS! We waiting and we watching!!
FERGUSON’S DISCLAIMER: The author wishes to advise that the expression “we the people” which appears to be very irksome to some readers and detractors, is not intended in any way to purport to speak on their behalf.