Last updated: 12:10 PM ET, Fri April 01 2016

Baha Mar Goes Up For Sale, But There's a Catch

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | April 01, 2016

Baha Mar Goes Up For Sale, But There's a Catch

The ongoing Baha Mar saga has taken yet another turn as the $3.5 billion unfinished resort is now up for sale.

World Casino News recently reported that Canada's Colliers International has been hired to seek out a potential buyer for the Bahamas resort.

The Bahamas government has even signed on to the move and said it is willing to provide special assistance in order to finally open the resort.

The property is currently being held by principal creditor China Export-Import Bank.

The resort, which boasts four hotels comprising roughly 2,200 rooms, a casino, a convention center and a golf course, is said to be 97 percent complete. However, citing observers, World Casino News reports that a new buyer would need to invest anywhere from $600 million to $1 billion to open the resort's doors and undo the marketing damage. 

READ MORE: Baha Mar Contractor Knew Timely Opening Was Unlikely

But while the resort's sale signals a promising step in Baha Mar's dramatic and at times head-scratching journey, there are still hurdles to be cleared.

The Bahamas Tribune reported potential buyers bidding on the unfinished resort will be banned from talking to developer Sarkis Izmirlian and any of his former executives as well as the project's primary contractor, China Construction America.

Raymond Winder, managing partner of resort receivers Deloitte & Touche told the Tribune that the ban is in place to create a "level playing field" and prevent bidders from gaining advantages in terms of acquiring key details of the resort's current condition. 

Nonetheless the decision has raised questions.

READ MORE: Bahamas PM: Baha Mar Will Open this Year

"It really minimizes the ability of anyone to do proper due diligence," former Baha Mar director Dionisio D'Aguilar told the Tribune. "Clearly, this is meant to exclude those who are most knowledgeable about the project from the process."

"Is this really an open sales process? Is this really value maximizing for all creditors? If you’re going to buy a product, you go to the person selling it, but you also want to speak to the people involved. Why would the court approve this?" he added. 

Moving forward, the Tribune reported that bidders will have to sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement, provide proof of credibility, reveal their financial capability and company background and "provide proof of funding, audited financial statements and industry expertise."

Bidders can then pay a $50,000 fee to access data on the resort and move forward with a bid.

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