‘Chilling’ Baha Mar deadline looms, says Bahamas PM

Nassau, Bahamas — Prime Minister Perry Christie said on Wednesday if the stakeholders of the Baha Mar multibillion dollar resort cannot come to an agreement by November 2nd that will lead to the stalled resort being completed, the Bahamas government would move forward with the “chilling process” of formal liquidation.

“From the point of view of the government of The Bahamas, we have indicated, and I have taken the time to indicate to the construction company, the developer, Mr [Sarkis] Izmirlian, and to the China Export-Import Bank that November 2nd, the government must move formal liquidation proceedings, which is a totally different paradigm to what exists, and that all sides must try their utmost to avoid having that eventuality come about.

“And therefore I expect, I must expect, that continuing efforts will be made to have a formula satisfactory to The Bahamas, even if it is not to the total satisfaction of the bank, the construction company or the developer, but to The Bahamas, where that development is 95 [or] 97 percent completed, will have construction resumed to completion and opening.”

Christie repeated that November 2nd is a crucial date to be avoided without resolution.

“It brings in the chilling prospect of a formal liquidation, which the country does not want,” he said.

“No one wants that. And so, I expect that the parties, who are well aware of the significance of that date, will find a formula between now and then to address the issue and come about with a development which will result in construction being resumed. That is what I expect.”

Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware on June 29th.

In September, US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey dismissed the Chapter 11 cases of the Bahamas-based Baha Mar companies, clearing the path for insolvency proceedings in the Bahamian courts to progress unencumbered by legal wrangling in another jurisdiction.

Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder appointed three joint provisional liquidators, comprised of Edmund Rahming of KRyS Global, Mark Nicholas Cropper and Alastair Beveridge of AlixPartners Services UK.

The provisional liquidators have been encouraged by the court to bring about an out-of-court settlement to the Baha Mar dispute.

The provisional liquidators were reportedly in separate talks with Izmirlian, the Export-Import Bank of China, China Construction America, and the government up to yesterday, following negotiations among the parties on October 8th and 9th.

Last month, China Construction America, Baha Mar’s main contractor, returned to the Baha Mar site in order to carry out a detailed assessment of the premises.

While it is unclear if that assessment has been completed, it was expected to yield a cost and timetable to get the resort completed.

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