Worldwide Terminals Fernandina LLC (“Worldwide”) and the Ocean Highway and Port Authority (“OHPA”) are pleased to announce that on October 19, 2018 they approved and executed a 35-year extension to the existing Port Operating Agreement (the “Agreement”) which was set to expire on December 31, 2023. The new Agreement has an expiry date of December 31, 2053.
Christopher T. Ragucci, Chief Executive of Worldwide Terminals Fernandina remarked, “We continue to believe that The Port of Fernandina is an undiscovered gem in the fast-growing Southeast region. The successful negotiation of this Agreement was truly a collaborative effort and we appreciate the dedication of our partners at OHPA. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Worldwide’s financial and equity sponsor, Four Wood Capital Partners LLC, who were instrumental in negotiating and structuring this long-term Agreement.”
Mr. Ragucci also referred to the recent acquisition of a Liebherr Mobile Harbor Crane (the “Crane”) due for delivery to the Port by mid-December 2018. Mr. Ragucci noted that “the Crane represents the first significant capital investment in the Port in many years and will support the continued growth of the Port’s operations. It is clear evidence that the joint public-private capital investment program for Worldwide Terminals Fernandina has already commenced.”
John M. Morale, Managing Partner at Four Wood Capital Partners LLC, who also serves as Worldwide’s Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, commented, “We are delighted to have successfully negotiated an Agreement that genuinely benefits all stakeholders in the Port and positions Worldwide Terminals Fernandina to aggressively seek and secure more long-term users for the Port. More importantly, the execution of this Agreement affords Worldwide the ability to embark on a long-term capital investment program for the Port both in the near and long-term, which will produce significantly more jobs and greater economic growth for Nassau County. “Strategically positioned ports are essential to retaining, as well as attracting industry to an area and we are blessed to have one here in Nassau County/Northeast Florida to help us achieve both goals,” stated Laura DiBella, Executive Director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board, and the Port Director for the Port of Fernandina. “I am thankful for Worldwide Terminals’ commitment to our unique general cargo port and even more excited to work with them.”
The Port of Fernandina’s Operator, Nassau Terminals, LLC was acquired by Worldwide Terminals Fernandina, LLC, a subsidiary of the Worldwide Group LLC and Four Wood Capital Partners, LLC, a New York based asset management and merchant banking firm in February 2018. Exclusive financing for the acquisition was provided by BBVA-Compass Bancshares, Inc.’s Jacksonville Branch under the direction of Nelson Bradshaw, BBVA Compass Jacksonville CEO and David Davis, Executive Vice President.
The Port currently handles paper and forest products exported to the Caribbean, Central and South America by companies such as Barnett Paper, WestRock and Caribbean Forest Carriers as well as project cargo and containerized cargo. It also serves as homeport for Somers Isle Shipping’s containerized service to Bermuda, now in its 33rd year. The Port also handles imported forest products from Asia, and Scandinavia, as well as certain bulk commodities.
Plans call for an additional capital investment of $15 million in the coming years to modernize the Port’s facilities including additional cranes and cargo handling equipment, as well as deepening, a berth extension and another on-dock warehouse to better accommodate the Port’s customers. The Port currently has 250,000 square-feet of on-port warehouse facilities, over 100,000 square-feet of off-port warehouse facilities, and daily on-dock rail service. It has a fully-certified Container Freight Station, and the Port will be adding Foreign Trade Zone designation as well.
Worldwide Terminals Fernandina has an experienced workforce that offers turn-key services including freight-forwarding, trucking, warehousing and distribution management and is capable of handling bulk, break-bulk, project cargo, containerized and refrigerated cargoes, as well as metals and lumber. Worldwide Terminals Fernandina is an ideal multi-purpose port, located less than two miles from the open ocean, offering the most cost-efficient service in the Southeast region. The Port currently has active trade with South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, with plans to expand into Europe and Asia over the next year.
BBVA Compass Bancshares, Inc. (formerly Compass Bancshares) is a bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It has been a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria since 2007 and operates chiefly in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.
The company is the 30th largest bank in the United States with assets of $86.5bn.
Please contact either Chris Ragucci (904.990.1400); firstname.lastname@example.org) or John M. Morale (646.515.7561); email@example.com) with any questions or for further information.