Are There Signs of Life at Baha Mar?
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Signs of life are emerging at the chronically stalled $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega-resort. Construction on the property re-started this week, said Perry Christie, the Bahamas prime minister. Meanwhile, ex-employees of the insolvent development reportedly received payments this week.
In an update posted on the government website Monday, Christie said “every effort is being made to ensure” the resort’s casino, casino hotel, convention center and adjacent hotel and golf course will open “before the end of the coming winter season.” Negotiations between the as-yet unnamed buyer for the resort and Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) continue, he said.
“Remobilization is well underway and construction works have commenced,” said Christie following a tour of the site, said to be 97 percent complete when construction stopped last year. “The EXIM Bank is meeting its commitment in funding remaining construction costs to complete the project, and a contract has been executed for CCA to complete the project.”
Christie last month announced an agreement between the government and EXIM Bank under which Baha Mar will be completed and sold to an unnamed operator. The pact was approved by the Bahamas Supreme Court, which then sealed the documents.
“For legal reasons, I am not at liberty at this stage to formally disclose the name of the ultimate purchaser,” said Christie. “Suffice it to say that their principals have met with the government and discussed their vision for the property. They meet the government’s requirements of a well-recognized, world-class resort developer with the necessary resources for a successful operation.”
He added, “The group is moving expeditiously to complete their negotiations with the EXIM Bank and to meet the due diligence requirements of the government. It is expected that the name of the purchaser will be announced shortly.”
Christie added, “Regular updates will be provided as continued progress is made in implementing the provisions of the heads of terms, with more detailed information becoming available to the public with the unsealing of the Supreme Court order”.
Meanwhile, ex-Baha Mar employees who lost their jobs when the resort was placed into receivership began receiving payments, the Bahamas Tribune reported. Christie said the payments represent “unpaid salaries, severance pay, accrued vacation pay and notice payments due to termination” for the former workers.
A claims committee is “in the process of settling the claims against Baha Mar of Bahamian unsecured creditors including contractors and suppliers," Christie said.
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