Is Baha Mar Sale on The 'Fast Track'?
The stalled $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega-resort is now 16 months behind its original opening date, but the China Export-Import (EXIM) Bank (EXIM), the troubled Nassau resort’s owner is now “fast-tracking” its search for a buyer according to Perry Christie, the Bahamas prime minister.
Christie this week told reporters in Nassau he expects “discussions with the construction company” to launch later this month and he expects China’s government to “assist” the negotiations. Both EXIM and the project’s main contractor, CCA, are state-owned entities. “What is clear to me is that they are going through a process of identifying a buyer and they are fast [tracking] that,” Christie said in a Nassau Guardian report posted on CaribbeanNewsNow.com.
“We have had visitations from potential buyers who have come in and asked whether the government can give the same concessions and so we have been kept aware of what’s taken place,” said Christie.
EXIM last month hired Colliers International, a Canadian real estate firm to market the stalled mega-resort to potential buyers. The resort’s convention center will be used for hosting the upcoming Inter-American Development Bank general meeting later this month.
Questions remain however whether a potential buyer is forthcoming given a “lack of transparency” cited by some potential bidders.
Andrew Farkas of Island Capital Group, whose partner, Sol Kerzner, is the original developer of Bahamas mega-resort Atlantis, said recently “numerous” proposals made to EXIM failed to result in “meaningful” negotiations because the financier has failed to provide access to a detailed accounting of the project.
Despite several meetings in Beijing and the Bahamas, said Farkas, the partners did not receive “adequate information to make a determination.”
A March 30 Bahamas Tribune editorial notes that Receivers’ materials from Baha Mar stipulate “any buyer is warned by the Receivers that it is not to rely on the accuracy of statements, estimates or forecasts included in the China Exim Bank Receiver-provided materials.”
Also, “any potential buyer is forbidden to speak to any current or former director officer, employee, consultant, advisor, creditor, customer, or supplier of [original Baha Mar developer Sarkis] Izmirlian, or his team.”
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