Representatives of JPF Corporate Financing, Vida Nova Pension Fund and Bank, PJIA and TEATT Minister Stuart Johnson meeting on Thursday.

 

PHILIPSBURG--Vida Nova Pension Fund and Bank has offered to repay existing bondholders and rebuild the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) terminal building, including the US pre-clearance facility, it was stated in a press release from the cabinet of Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT) Stuart Johnson late Thursday evening.

  The conditions of the offer and the amount offered to reconstruct the facility were not made clear in the release.

  JPF Corporate Financing made a presentation Thursday to the management and supervisory boards of PJIA, Vida Nova Pension Fund and Bank, and Johnson as shareholder representative.

  According to the release, the offer includes full repayment to the existing bondholders. Vida Nova is also proposing to reconstruct the airport’s terminal building to include US pre-clearance, construct the fire and rescue services building, build the new parking structure and provide liquidity support during the reconstruction period.

  “Vida Nova would bring with it all locally- and Curaçao-based financiers, which will reduce delays in critical decision-making and speed up the reconstruction process. If the offer is accepted, it will allow PJIA’s reconstruction to move forward without further delay,” the release said.

  Several conditions imposed by The Hague were accepted for the World Bank to finance US $50 million as a grant from the Dutch Trust Fund with another $50 million as a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

  “Two years later, we are still not in a position to finance the complete reconstruction of our main gateway, and the airport is nearing full default to its bondholders, as we have yet to see the beef,” said Johnson in the release.

  He said the delay in rebuilding the airport to include US pre-clearance harms other activities designed to drive the economy forward.

  “If the airport’s due diligence shows the proof in the pudding, the ink could soon dry on their letter of interest and an agreement,” the release said. “It could mean St. Maarteners will see shovels in the ground signalling the start of full reconstruction by November 11, St. Maarten Day, this year. This new offer will take PJIAE [the airport operating company – Ed.] out of its default position by repaying existing bondholders.”

  Vida Nova is a pension fund for TelEm and GEBE and a current holder of airport bonds. It was involved in financing Port St. Maarten’s construction and was an advisor on debt-financing for St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).