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Sagicor X Fund sells its last Jewel

Published:Wednesday | December 2, 2020 | 12:12 AM
A section of the Jewl Grande Montego Bay resort.
A section of the Jewl Grande Montego Bay resort.

Sagicor Real Estate X Fund has sold its remaining Jewel resort at a loss to a related entity, Sagicor Pooled Investment Fund Limited, which is managed by Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited

The transaction, which took place on September 22, was recently disclosed in third-quarter filings by X Fund in Jamaica and its ultimate owner Sagicor Financial on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Sagicor Group Jamaica is yet to respond to requests for comment on the sale of the 217-room Jewel Grande Montego Bay and Spa, but in its earnings report for the September quarter, Sagicor X Fund said the transaction generated inflows of $1.6 billion that were used to reduce borrowings. Its $11.4 billion of debts at year ending December 2019 are now down to $9 billion.

“The sale price was based on a recent valuation, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, property values declined significantly over the prior year, resulting in a loss of $0.39 billion,” the company said.

The sale of the Montego Bay property comes amid the downswing in the tourist market due to the pandemic. It leaves Sagicor X Fund holding one hotel asset – DoubleTree by Hilton in Florida.

Its other Jewel properties were formerly sold to Playa Hotel & Resorts, a deal that gave X Fund and Sagicor entities a stake in Playa. The latter company subsequently disposed of two of the properties, Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa and Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort & Waterpark, selling the properties in May of this year to unnamed investors for US$60 million, which was well below their fair value of US$85 million.

With Sagicor X Fund’s latest property sale, which comes alongside a steep decline in the value of its holdings in Playa, the real estate fund’s assets at the end of September has dipped to $37 billion from $49 billion a year earlier.

X Fund posted a consolidated net loss of $2.4 billion in the third quarter ending September, which was more than twice the $990 million of third-quarter losses recorded a year earlier. Over nine months, its losses amounted to $10.4 billion, erasing a comparatively small profit of $43 million in the previous period.

The losses were driven by reduced revenue, which has been sliced to $2 billion over nine months from $4.8 billion.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com