Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Here follows a September 26, 2016 press statement by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Perry Christie on progress on the remobilization, completion and opening of the Baha Mar Cable Beach resort:
I am pleased today, one month after the announcement of an agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and the Export-Import Bank of China, that considerable progress has been made in the implementation of the Heads of Terms between the respective parties relating to the remobilization, completion, sale and opening of the Baha Mar mega mixed-use resort.
As I have said before, these arrangements which have been approved by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas in a sealed order as is customary in commercial matters of this kind, represent a signal achievement for The Bahamas and a milestone in the troubled history of Baha Mar.
Within the constraints of the sealed Court Order relating to the Heads of Terms I am pleased to provide the following update.
Multiple parties have been working diligently around the clock in various time zones and places supported by professional experts and dedicated staffs in the timely implementation of the many undertakings in the Heads of Terms, which have been accomplished to date in a timely manner.
The Exim Bank is meeting its commitment in funding remaining construction costs to complete the project, and a contract has been executed for China Construction to complete the project.
Remobilization is well underway and construction works have commenced. China Construction is also in the process of resolving outstanding amounts owing its suppliers and contractors.
The process is well underway under the supervision of a Claims Committee comprising representatives of the relevant parties and headed by Ambassador James Smith, for the ex gratia payment by Eximbank to thousands of former Bahamian employees of Baha Mar of outstanding amounts owed to them by their former employer including unpaid salaries, severance pay, accrued vacation pay and notice payments due to termination. Additional sums deducted from employees and former employees’ salaries and pension contributions are also being repaid.
The Claims Committee is also now in the process of settling the claims against Baha Mar of Bahamian unsecured creditors including contractors and suppliers. Eximbank has provided the funding and Bahamian unsecured creditors are asked to closely conform with the notices and procedures being published by the Claims Committee.
Although for legal reasons I am not at liberty at this stage to disclose the name of the ultimate purchaser, 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 all the necessary resources for a successful operation. 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.
There are many moving parts and complex issues which are being assiduously addressed by all the parties, including the accomplishment of the Government’s three primary objectives:
1. Resumption of construction, earliest possible completion of the project, and its acquisition by a well recognized world class resort developer.
2. Every effort being made to ensure the phased opening of the casino, casino hotel, the convention centre and hotel, and the golf course before the end of the coming winter season.
3. Payment of claims to Baha Mar creditors and contractors, and amounts owing to former Bahamian employees who had little or no prospect of recovering anything from Baha Mar.
The process is well and methodically underway to securing a successful outcome for the completion and operation of the resort, which will bring maximum benefit to the Bahamian economy.
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.