Tocumen bond issue hit by Waked scandal
THE MONEY LAUNDERING allegations and ongoing investigations into their activities on the Waked family have impacted the Tocumen International Airport $625 million bond sale.
The issuance of $625 million bonds for was scheduled for Wednesday May 11 but has been rescheduled for the next 24 to 36 hours.
The bonds had been expected to sell successfully, but the risks perceived by investors at the charges of money laundering against several members of the Waked family have generated uncertainty reports La Prensa.
Waked International, S.A., (WISA) is one of the concessionaires at the airport and generates 7 percent of the income.
Airport Manager Joseph Fidanque III confirmed that the $625 million issue had been placed successfully through Citigroup Global Markets.
However, the decision by the Department of the Treasury to place the Waked family businesses on the Clinton List has generated concern among investors.
On Tuesday,May 10 Citigroup Global Markets determined that the conditions precedent set out in the purchase agreement had not been met and delayed the purchase.
In 2007, Wisa received a$115 million concession to sell duty free goods in the air terminal, including perfumes, cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and luxury accessories. It also pays $100 a month in rent per square meter, and 8 percent of sales.
The terminal-dealer agreement expires in December 2017.
The decision by the U.S. Treasury Department means the stores connected to Wisa cannot sell U.S. goods or engage in transactions with U.S. customers. It also cannot accept credit card transactions with U.S. banks.
Fidanque declined to comment about the delay in the bond issue, saying it could hinder the search for the money that will finance part of the expansion of the air terminal.Courtesy of La Prensa