Sagicor X Fund upsizes rights issue

The upsize indicates market support for its first hotel acquisition outside Jamaica on a property that on the surface earns less per room than its existing four hotels but would represent one of its largest acquisitions.

“These shares (up-sizable shares) are available to shareholders as additional shares over and above their provisional allotment,” stated the X Fund release.

The X Fund announced that on Monday it received acceptances in excess of the 598,134,700 units at $6.95 as offered in its rights issue. The directors indicated that they opted to release a further 149,533,675 shares in the unallocated pool, as discussed in the rights issue prospectus.

The X Fund plans to use the funds to aid it in acquiring a 742-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the entrance to Universal Studios in Florida and 15 minutes away from Disney World for US$75 million. The balance of the purchase price is expected to be financed by a US institutional lender, according to the X Fund prospectus.

The X Fund remains “excited” about the US hotel’s prospects. The hotel and grounds span nearly 63,000 square feet with a large convention centre, restaurants and shops including its own Starbucks cafe. But it also offers an opportunity to develop more retail and/or restaurants along Kirkman Road to complement the hotel. Additionally the X Fund will mull renovating the rooms in an effort to increase revenues.

“It may also be possible to increase room rates by renovating and upgrading guest rooms,” stated the prospectus.

The prospectus avoided revealing the US hotel’s financials but did indicate that the hotel earns US$87 in revenue per available room (Rev/par) in 2015 up from US$72 in 2014 and US$67 in 2013. Rev/par tells the average daily earning from each room when factoring in occupancy levels. These rates do not necessarily include meals while its Jamaica properties would operate under an all inclusive model. The Jewel Runaway Bay and Jewel Paradise Cove hotels each earn a Rev/Par of US$199. While its Jewel Dunn’s River and Hilton property each earn a rev/par of US$232, according to the prospectus.

The hotel will become X Fund’s second Hilton property after its US$85 million acquisition of Hilton Rose Hall in St James, finalised in January. The specific Double Tree hotel is a three-and-a-half star hotel built in 1974 and renovated in 2012 with unionised labour, according to the prospectus.

On 23rd July the X Fund announced its intention to make a non renounceable rights Issue. It followed a June 25 purchase agreement with the owner of the DoubleTree by Hilton at the entrance to Universal Studios.

The X Fund made net profit attributable to stockholders at J$687 million for the second quarter 2015 or 67 per cent higher than a year earlier. Total assets increased by J$6.9 billion to J$21.2 billion at the end of June 2015 due to its acquisition of the Hilton Rose Hall Beach Resort & Spa as well as appreciation of units in the Sigma Real Estate Portfolio. Total shareholder equity as at June 30, 2015 was J$9.8 billion.


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