PHILIPSBURG--Vidanova Pension Fund and Bank said on Tuesday that it cannot finance the US $240 million that was offered for the reconstruction of Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) on its own, adding that it had never indicated that it could do so.

  Vidanova said that prior to September 5, it had twice discussed contributing financially in the reconstruction of PJIA with St. Maarten government representatives. On both occasions, Vidanova expressed its interest, according to a Vidanova press release.

  “In this context, when JPF Corporate Finance was approached to explore whether they can source (arrange or secure) the funding for the airport in St. Maarten, Vidanova again expressed its willingness to be one of the financiers.

  However, in a press release on Tuesday, Vidanova stressed that it “cannot finance $240 million on its own, nor has it ever indicated that it can do so.

  “What Vidanova can do is to participate together with a consortium of lenders to finance the airport. In this respect, Vidanova’s willingness to participate extends also to a financing package whereby part of the total financing is provided by the World Bank and EIB [European Investment Bank – Ed.].”

  Vidanova also said that the two-month timeframe mentioned in the presentation was in reference to the preparations that need to take place before a possible loan agreement can be signed.

  “A crucial component of these preparatory activities for Vidanova is the internal coordination and agreement between all policymakers involved with the airport, as agreed during the September 5 presentation.

  “Vidanova would like to underscore that, as a basic principle, any and all decisions taken by Vidanova are economically and financially motivated without any political involvement.

  “Since investments are a crucial component in generating income for a pension fund and, as a direct result, contribute to the wellbeing of its members (sustainability of lifelong pension payments), Vidanova Pension Fund has invested on several occasions in projects in St. Maarten. Whenever approached, the fund is open to explore new investment opportunities, especially if they also contribute to the economic development of the islands where it operates,” concluded Vidanova.