PHILIPSBURG–A US $57.5 million Senior Secured Term Loan, partially guaranteed via Export Development Canada, has been granted by CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank to The Maho Group to jumpstart the resort company’s rebuilding.
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Sonesta Maho Beach Resort sustained severe damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The two damaged resorts have remained closed to visitors, a huge blow to the country’s tourism-driven economy. This loan is welcome news not only for the destination, but for workers who are eager to get back to their posts.
“We are happy to partner with CIBC at this crucial moment in the history of our country, and our group, and we are grateful for their support,” said the Maho Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Saro Spadaro. “The investments we will make with our equity – and with the proceeds of this loan – are going to be essential for the recovery and rebuilding of our resorts, as well as the stay-over tourism in St. Maarten.”
However, these investments alone will not be sufficient, he added. “Much more needs to be done to rebuild our infrastructure, help our people and support the private sector. We are committed to once again bringing tourism to the forefront of industry in this country and we hope that all the necessary and appropriately measure will be taken swiftly and efficiently.”
“We are proud to support the rebuilding of what is a very important resort to St. Maarten. The start of this reconstruction will create the necessary employment and is key to bringing the tourist back to this beautiful island,” said CIBC FirstCaribbean Managing Director Corporate and Investment Banking Pim van der Burg.
CIBC FirstCaribbean has given intensive regional support since the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, providing relief supplies, donations, and funding for the rebuilding of homes and businesses, according to a bank statement.
“Seven months later, the bank remains dedicated and committed to St. Maarten and the other territories that have been impacted by the storms,” Van der Burg said.