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PHOTO: Baha Mar chairman Sarkis Izmirlain remains in talks to rescue the Baha Mar mega-resort. (Photo by Brian Major)
The Bahamas Supreme Court on Tuesday pushed the "winding up" hearing on the $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega-resort back to Nov. 25, granting stakeholders another three weeks to forge an agreement in the ongoing impasse.
The winding up hearing was originally slated for Nov. 2. The mega-resort's stakeholders, including developer Baha Mar Ltd., lender China Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank), and principal contractor and equity partner China State Engineering and Construction Company (CSEC), remain in discussions to reach an agreement to open and operate Baha Mar, said a Bahamas government official quoted in a Bahamas Tribune report.
The Bahamas' attorney general's office requested the delay on behalf of government stakeholders including the Bahamas' Water & Sewerage Corporation, Gaming Board and National Insurance Board. Officials are clearly hopeful more time will bring the sides together and result in a long-awaited agreement. "We are hoping that by some time at the end of the month, that there will be some resolution," said Allyson Maynard-Gibson, the Bahamas' attorney general.
The Tribune report also cites unnamed sources who allege the government is "playing for time," and the project's joint provisional liquidators have developed a "resolution proposal."
Indeed, a source contacted by TravelPulse says Perry Christie, the Bahamas prime minster "seems quite convinced that there is something very positive on the horizon" based on a recent conversation.
The Tribune report also observes Sarkis Izmirlian, Baha Mar Ltd.'s chairman "has no future role as Baha Mar's owner and developer" and states the "likeliest scenario" is that Baha Mar ends up in full liquidation, ultimately under the control of China's government.
Indeed, the resort's largest stakeholder is the China Export-Import Bank, which financed the project with a $2.5 billion loan. The project's primary contractor is also a state-owned firm.
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Brian Major is Managing Editor for Digital Publications & Guides/Caribbean.
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