Categorized | Featured, National News

Baha Mar Deal Possible

Despite statement of acrimony, between the government of the Bahamas and the developer of the Baha Mar resort, yesterday both sides were seeking to hammer out a Memorandum of Understanding to move the project forward.

The Bahama Journal was reliably informed that Prime Minister Perry Christie and Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian were seeking on various points of contention.

In addition, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham offered suggestions to the prime minister and Mr. Izmirlian for inclusion in the memorandum.

Last night, the prime minister was discussing the proposed memorandum with his colleague and the parties involved in the dispute and present litigation.

The parties involved in the Baha Mar debacle are expected to appear in court today, following an adjournment earlier this month.

On July 7, attorneys representing the government of the Bahamas, Baha Mar, The China Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and China Construction America (CCA) appeared in court, where they supported a petition from Baha Mar to adjourn the matter, concerning a resolution for the resort, so that negotiations could continue.

Following the court proceeding, attorney for the government Damien Gomez, QC, appeared cautiously optimistic that a resolution could soon be reached.

“It is hoped that parties could put aside the vitriolic that’s been a recent feature of this and get down to resolving the issues so that we can report in seven days to his Lordship that we are making good progress or that we have reached a settlement,” the attorney said.

There was no shortage of attorneys in the courtroom that day, as counsels for various Baha Mar creditors were present to observe the proceedings with many of them considering whether they will join in on a potential lawsuit against the resort.

Baha Mar caught its creditors and the government off guard when the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in a United States court.

But in a move to protect Bahamian interests, the government blocked a move by the company that sought to have the orders of the US court recognised here.

Since then, the government and Baha Mar have traded barbs and the relationship between the two has soured. But in a statement in response to the adjournment, Prime Minister Christie called for cooler and calmer heads to prevail.

“There is no question that the best thing for the country and for the Bahamian people is for Baha Mar to open successfully and swiftly, so that we can all benefit from the economic activity and jobs that it will contribute to our country,” Mr. Christie said.

“For this reason, the government supported the adjournment petition brought forth by Baha Mar today during the Supreme Court proceedings, but with one singular condition: that all parties reconvene negotiations on an urgent basis and develop a way forward that would see construction resume immediately.”

Therefore, the prime minister organized for negotiations to take place between the parties involved in the development and completion of Baha Mar.

Last week, he sent a delegation led by Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson to China to participate in negotiations between Baha Mar Ltd., China State Construction Engineering Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China concerning the completion of the $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort.

However, following the negotiations, a well placed source in Beijing informed The Bahama Journal that there is no optimism that a deal can be struck in the Baha Mar saga.

The source said there is too much “bad blood” between the Export-Import Bank of China, Baha Mar Ltd. and China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

According to the source, negotiations did not go well in China last Wednesday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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