PHILIPSBURG — During an urgent meeting of Parliament on Monday, November 19, where the Minister of TEATT, Stuart Johnson together with management and staff of the PJIA Airport and the Harbor Group of Companies (Port) gave an update on the status of these two major ports for St. Maarten, member of Parliament Claude ‘Chacho” Peterson asked the question many people have been wondering: “Who is André Wright?”
The MP wanted to know whether Wright was a consultant with the airport, if he is receiving a monthly retainer fee, what was his fee for the refinancing of the old loan and if he is a part of this new deal of $260 million with the external financier that the airport is in negotiations with.
André Wright is co-founder of and serves as Executive Vice President of Standard International Group, Inc., a company which, according to its website, has been serving PJIAE as financial advisor since 1999. In December 2012 Standard International Group was instrumental in the refinancing of $142 million US Dollars of the PJIAE bonds at a lower rate of 5,5%.
Standard International Group was also instrumental in the coordination of Moody’s investment grade rating of PJIAE N.V. as well as in the investment grade first-time sovereign rating of the government of St. Maarten by Moody’s after the island obtain country status in 2010.
It is customary for such financial advisors and their companies to receive a commission of on average 1% for their brokerage work. Naturally, for their advisory work, financial consultants are paid on a retainer basis for their ongoing consultancy work.
StMaartenNews.com has been able to ascertain that the external financier PJIAE is in negotiations with is investment banking group PiperJaffray. The intention is to refinance the existing bonds with new financing to the tune of $260 million US Dollars at the existing rate of 5,5% interest.
The urgent public meeting that started at 10am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament in Philipsburg was adjourned at 1pm as another meeting was due to start and the minister of TEATT, of course, would need time to answer all the questions posed to him by the members of Parliament in regards to the airport and the port. When the meeting would be reconvened is not yet known.
Photo caption: Financial advisor to PJIAE André Wright seen sitting at the far right in the above photo taken during a working visit of Moody’s team to PJIA Airport in November 2012. From L-R: Joe Peterson (Care Taker, PJIAH); Whitfield Vlaun, Supervisory Board Member of PJIAE; Cleveland Beresford, Supervisory Board Member of PJIAE; Mark Kortenoever, Legal Advisor, PJIAE; Gary Matser, Supervisory Board Member, PJIAE; Regina M. LaBega, Managing Director, PJIAE; Chee Mee Hu, Moody’s Team Managing Director; Earl Heffintrayer, Moody’s Associate Analyst; and Andre Wright, Financial Advisor to PJIAE. File photo provided by PJIAE NV in 2012.
Photo caption: André Wright of Standard International Group seen standing at the far right in the above photo taken during a working visit of the bond underwriters who paid a visit to St. Maarten and the PJIA Airport in January 2013. Also seen in the photo are from left to right: Mirto Breell (Director Technical Division); Mark Kortenoever (Lexwell); Leonard Mazlich (Cigna); Hon. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams; Regina LaBega (Managing Director, PJIAE); Patrick Cann (Nomura); Robert Brown (Special Projects Coordinator); Larry Donker (Director Operational Division); Raul van Heyningen (Director Air Traffic Services); and Andre Wright ( Standard International Group). File photo provided by PJIAE NV in 2013.
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