IIC Grants Loan to Promote High-end Tourism in Jamaica

09/10/2012

Loan of up to US$8 million will expand tourist accommodations in Montego Bay and strengthen the value chain of local suppliers

Washington, D.C., September 10, 2012 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) has signed a loan agreement for up to US$8 million with Seawind Key Investments Limited to enhance the sustainability of an innovative hotel complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The proceeds of the loan will enable Seawind to diversify its sources of financing for two deluxe resorts, maintaining a sound equity structure and a sustainable long-term financial plan. The operation, which will offer business opportunities to some 250 Jamaican suppliers, also takes advantage of the international experience of Seawind’s hotel group, which administers more than 30 deluxe resorts worldwide.

“The IIC support has enabled us to develop a product that meets the highest environmental protection standards,” noted Seawind directors Ignacio Gil and Javier Luque. “The hotels have water- and energy-saving systems, as well as their own solar panels to harness the energy of the sun.”

Jorge Ciurlizza, the IIC’s senior investment officer in charge of the operation, added, “With this loan, the Corporation is supporting competitive development of the hotel sector in Jamaica, the second leading tourist destination in the Caribbean. The loan will have a real impact on the company’s sustainability and help create more than 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.”

The tourism industry makes a significant contribution to the Jamaican economy, accounting for 24% of the country’s GDP and 22.6% of its total employment. Seawind’s current operations in Jamaica provide direct employment to 540 people and temporary employment to another 353.

The Montego Bay complex is innovative in that it caters exclusively to adults, providing all-inclusive accommodations. The complex has 700 rooms. Total investment in the operation will come to approximately US$100 million.

GFG Securities, LLC, an investment bank specializing in real estate projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, participated in the operation as an advisor to the client.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We help companies streamline management processes and provide them with financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees. In 2011, the IIC reached the symbolic one-billion-dollar mark in disbursements of own and third-party funds. Throughout our history, we have benefited more than 1.6 million SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information on the IIC’s activities, visit www.iic.org.

Contact: Jorge Ciurlizza

Telephone: +1 (202) 623-3932 in Washington, D.C.

Email: jorgeci@iadb.org