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Baha Mar ‘Showed Contempt To Nation’

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

BAHA Mar executives have shown “a great degree of disrespect” and “contempt” for the this country after reportedly blindsiding the government on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing which will without doubt spark a domino effect on the economy, former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette said yesterday.

While Mr Symonette admitted that bankruptcy filings are usually handled with great sensitivity and secrecy, he criticised Baha Mar’s CEO Sarkis Izmirlian saying in the name of a good working relationship, Prime Minister Perry Christie should have been notified of the move.

On Tuesday night, Mr Christie admitted during a press conference that the government was caught off guard by the bankruptcy filing, which he said came “without notice” on Monday.

Mr Christie said the decision by Mr Izmirlian came at a point when his personal intervention with all parties involved led to a substantial agreement on a packaged solution for additional funding by the China Export-Import Bank, Baha Mar’s financier.

This deal was going to ensure that the general contractor, China Construction America, resumed construction at the West Bay Street project and that the mega-resort was completed, Mr Christie said.

“ . . .This shows a degree of disrespect and contempt for the government of the Bahamas,” Mr Symonette said.

“I would have hoped that the developers would have at least let the government and, especially Mr Christie, know since they claim to want a good working relationship.”

Most troubling, Mr Symonette told The Tribune, is the inevitable implications which are to come to scores of small business owners who extended their lines of credit to do business with the $3.5bn project.

He said the real estate market could possibly suffer if expatriates are forced to return to their homes in the aftermath of the project’s financial woes.

“What hasn’t come out yet is what China (Construction America) owes Bahamian businesses,” he added. “We haven’t heard of those numbers yet and those people would have had to gone to the bank and stretched their lines of credit.

“I can tell you there are a lot of local companies that have not been paid. There is one businessman that I know who is owed $180,000. This is a one-man operation that we are talking about so imagine his plight. I doubt Bahamians in this situation will be able to recoup 100 pennies on the dollar.

“So this is a real domino affect and it will ricochet down the line.”

Following the announcement of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Tribune Business reported that Baha Mar owed more than 1,000 trade creditors an estimated $123m.

Court documents revealed that the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) is the second largest unsecured creditor behind the project’s contractor. BEC is owed $19.5m for energy supplies, the documents said.

In addition, Peter and Tom Whitehead were said to be owed $5.28m for construction services.

Other Bahamian-based businesses owed money by Baha Mar include TBI Caribbean at $2.35m and Island Site Development at $1.15m. Cable Bahamas is also owed $1.15m, among others, according to court documents.

Comments

banker 5 years, 1 month ago

“I would have hoped that the developers would have at least let the government and, especially Mr Christie, know since they claim to want a good working relationship.”

There was no good working relationship. Christie was bullshitting everyone, wouldn't pay the road money and pretended to have the inside track while both parties knew that he was a brain-damaged buffoon.

Brent should understand that business is business. I am sure that he has business dealerings in the past that don't stand up to the scrutiny and moral judgement that he is making on Baha Mar.

By any touchstone, Baha Mar was just a business. It is us Bahamians and specifically the PLP and Perry Christie who imbued it with the magical powers to save our economy, provide jobs and create economic activity. It was the lazy man's way to curing the economic ills, so we saw in it, something more than it is -- a bunch of promoters trying to get a business idea off the ground.

Izmirlians knew that Christie and Company were in the pockets of the Chinese and sleeping with the enemy (well Fred was anyway). So it was very prudent on his part to save the business for the Bahamian economy, not to tell the enemy.

Mistah Salt is playing politics here. It is Christie who is showing disrespect to the Bahamas, and not Izmirlian. This is the first public indication that Sarkis Izmirlian is not a total business dunce as was previously suspected -- although the jury is ultimately still out.

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TruthHurts 5 years, 1 month ago

"..It was the lazy man's way to curing the economic ills, so we saw in it, something more than it is -- a bunch of promoters trying to get a business idea off the ground."

@banker... Where have you been all this time?! Your sentiments are so true and I have been saying this for years about the way our country is ran! Baha Mar is a complete waste and so is the current administration!

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duppyVAT 5 years, 1 month ago

Newsflash ...................... that is what happens when a poor country does business with a rich person/company/investor that has more financial resources than the country itself .......... the Izmirlians are VERY rich ....... they can buy the Bahamas and probbaly half of the Caribbean ....... did they really need to borrow the Chinese money????? ................. we will soon know

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newcitizen 5 years, 1 month ago

You don't get rich or stay rich by betting your own money

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djohn1996 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm confused by "I doubt Bahamians in this situation will be able to recoup 100 pennies on the dollar." Are 100 pennies no longer equal to a dollar?

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EnoughIsEnough 5 years, 1 month ago

in a bankruptcy case the debt is usually paid off at a reduced rate - as low as 10% in many cases. so he is saying that the full amounts owed to vendors will unlikely be paid - they will only receive a percentage if anything - which means huge financial woes for companies that over extended themselves.

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 1 month ago

Why didn't Bahamar inform our government of the filing. That is the real question. Was it because Bahamar did not trust Perry?

Why were we kept out of the loop?

There is more to this story, we want to know...

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TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

My Dear Comrades, unlike the financially struggling workers at Baha Mar who when the bossman's does finally fire them 'officially," this millionaire PM and PLP Cabinet when soon fired by the people's of Bahamaland, won't have finds the strengths to weed other peoples yards and dig ditches, cuz they's too rich to have beg for any jobs that will pays minimum labourers wages.
Thank you for doing nothing, PLP Cabinet!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 1 month ago

And so Christie gets his white man to join the yellow team to do what he himself was afraid to do; wrongfully bad mouth Sarkis/Baha Mar. Since when Brent has our contemptible Christie-led PLP government done anything to deserve the respect of anyone, especially Sarkis/Baha Mar? Stop prostituting yourself for whatever political influence you obviously now seek to further enrich your enormously wealthy empire of family businesses.

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banker 5 years, 1 month ago

Brent too, can see it all slipping away for himself and his enormously wealthy empire of family businesses. With the economic demise of the Bahamas, it will take down Brent's bank account as well.

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realfreethinker 5 years, 1 month ago

I will bet the house Perry knew about the bankruptcy option. He was only blindsided by the timing

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Reality_Check 5 years, 1 month ago

Of course Christie knew well ahead of time about the bankruptcy. Several months ago he was personally told by Sarkis that the continued intransigence of both the Chinese general contractor (CCA) and the China Export-Import Bank would inevitably result in the need for some kind of bankruptcy proceeding. Christie though, being the incompetent imbecile that he is, simply thought Sarkis was blowing hot air and posturing to gain an upper hand against the Chinese, i.e. Christie's new yellow team.

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jus2cents 5 years, 1 month ago

Well Duh! You would expect any right thinking person to have contempt for the Government after the way they have behaved but I doubt very much if there's any contempt toward the Bahamian People or The Bahamas as a 'Country'.

Baha Mar are trying to do the right thing with 'Voluntary' Chapter22 and reboot the project. And of course the PM would have known this would be an option!? saying he was blindsided is deceitful, and if he was blindsided then that is a more embarrassing admission as the MOFinance.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/bahamas-r...">http://www.wsj.com/articles/bahamas-r... "Judge Kevin Carey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., signed off on the company’s bid to access $30 million of the financing on an interim basis during a hearing Wednesday, noting that it was the first time in a long time he’d seen a bankruptcy loan with so few strings attached. The financing is being provided by Baha Mar chairman Sarkis Izmirlian, a Bahamian businessman who began work on the project in 2009."

*That's $30Million! plus many more millions already invested, I don't call that gesture “a great degree of disrespect” and “contempt”

Anybody who wants Baha Mar to fail should be ashamed of themselves. This is a lesson in how a project like this affects Every Single One Of Us. This is also why we should think more Sustainably and move toward smaller hotels in future.

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themessenger 5 years, 1 month ago

As you say Banker, perhaps ole Izmerlian is a little smarter than Christie & the Chinese give him credit for and his way of saying that he's tired of being jerked off. If you're getting screwed you should at least be on top.

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Hogfish 5 years, 1 month ago

would yo'll trust wutless perry with that kind of information??!
- not me!

I don't think it's contempt to the nation, it's just contempt of wutless himself.

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Publius 5 years, 1 month ago

Okay. Obviously Symonette just wants to be seen and heard in this whole affair.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 1 month ago

Just got off the phone with a friend of mine who has a friend who is quite close to a member of Christie's inner circle. It seems Christie has told his entire cabinet that "their" survival as the government of the day is very much dependent on how quickly they can deflect blame for the rapidly cascading disastrous economic fallout of the Baha Mar bankruptcy on Sarkis Izmirlian and away from themselves. It seems Christie and his bandits have already reached way too far into the pockets of the Chinese to take any side but the yellow team's side. The situation is very similar to the "favours" Christie and his bandits have received from the racketeering numbers bosses (like Craig Flowers) which require that they support the interests of the criminals behind the 'illegal' gaming web shop operators over the interests of the Bahamian people. This is just incredible!!

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Reality_Check 5 years, 1 month ago

And none other than Brent Symonette has allowed himself to be recruited by Christie to engage in the "blame Sarkis political game"! You can expect Christie and his cabinet to spin this just as you say, for their own political survival, but also as pay back to the yellow team for the "favours" received to date and to be received tomorrow. Yes, our government has indeed sold its soul, and in the process sold out our country; first to the racketeering mobsters who operate the gaming web shops and now to the Chinese. Christie and his bandits will never give a damn about the long-term interests of the Bahamian people. You can be rest assured though that Robin Hood Christie and his merry cabinet of bandits will continue to do everything possible to rob Peter (the honest hardworking taxpayer who has a job) in order to buy public support with Paul (the non-productive D- educated voter who has no job or is unemployable). Every day we see more and more Bahamians being laid off as a result of the failed social and economic policies of the Christie-led PLP government. Christie has, true to form, simply been too busy feathering his own nest and the nests of his elitist political friends and business cronies to worry about creating jobs for well educated Bahamians. For many of us, our children have been doomed to a life of crime to feed themselves and their families as a result of this madman and his cohorts!!

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Zakary 5 years, 1 month ago

  • It seems Christie has told his entire cabinet that "their" survival as the government of the day is very much dependent on how quickly they can deflect blame for the rapidly cascading disastrous economic fallout of the Baha Mar bankruptcy on Sarkis Izmirlian and away from themselves.

If this is true then I am appalled, but you know, we’re a small country after all. I’d like to see how they pull this off considering that there are now cross-jurisdictional interventions that the government must make in regards to the recent chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Like you suggest it seems that they’ve already sided too deep with the Chinese, and will attempt to deflect. The Legal Affairs State Minister just said today that the government is prepared to pay every single Baha Mar employee, I hope they follow through. They did boldly proclaim a while ago that the government will not take sides, let's see how that goes.

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Hogfish 5 years, 1 month ago

wtf are you talking about? you crazy hey. that's what the severence is for! and then after that is NIB! the government should NOT being paying out each time a hotel closes just to get political points! (Oasis in Freeport another example). If they stopped bailing out bar tenders and room cleaners and spent the money more on education then the people would be more mobile and employable. But everything get's done so gaddamn backward we never move forward.

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Zakary 5 years, 1 month ago

I guess I'm bad at typing sarcasm, but considering they said the "government will not take sides", the state minister must be serious.

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Alltoomuch 5 years, 1 month ago

Does a Commission of Inquiry figure in here anywhere?

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Hogfish 5 years, 1 month ago

ha! like that ever does any good. remember SLOP and Carlos ? Mr. and Mrs SLOP had $60 million in unexplained cash - and that was back in the gaddamn 70s!!! Lady SLOP still sitting on that somewhere now with interest!. Probably Cayman or Switzerland. Or let's hope she put it in Zimbabwe or Greece, lol!

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banker 5 years, 1 month ago

The final figure is much more, and quite staggering -- 9 figures.

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Publius 5 years, 1 month ago

Symonette ought to be ashamed of himself for joining Christie's corrupt charade in this matter. It was Symonette's government that brought the Chinese into this in the first place, now he wants to act like he doesn't see and know what is going on here?

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banker 5 years, 1 month ago

I really don't think that Symonette joined Christie's corrupt charade. I think that Symonette looked into the future and saw his cozy financial situation slipsliding away.

How much is Hot Mix owed? That is one of his. How much did he carry on Fast Ferry? I think he has a hand in Bahamas Fire -- the welding company. I think that he stands to lose a bundle.

The reason that he speaks out now, is because it PGC knew about it, Symonette would have known about it minutes later. That is how porous the cabinet room is.

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Publius 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes of course. My point though is that Symonette knows Christie is not being truthful when he claims he did not know what was going on. His demonizing of S.I is Christie's charade; that's what I'm referring to when I say he is joining the same. Symonette also knows the government is in bed with the Chinese, which makes his comments all the more curious.

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banker 5 years, 1 month ago

Amazing, Sarkis Izmirlian put in $30 million of his own money. !!!!!!!! That means he has real skin in the game.

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Publius 5 years, 1 month ago

And look at what the government is now doing to him, seeking to block him from being able to use that money.

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Zakary 5 years, 1 month ago

Looks like our commenter above might very well be correct.

http://www.thenassauguardian.com/news...">Govt to pay 2,400 Baha Mar employees $7.5 mil salary; Baha Mar concerned about Supreme Court adjournment

Simply amazing;

  • Meanwhile, Baha Mar stated this afternoon that it is extremely concerned and disappointed that the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has decided to adjourn until Tuesday the hearing of Baha Mar’s application for recognition of the U.S. bankruptcy proceedings. The adjournment by the Bahamian Supreme Court was granted at the joint request of the Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas and The Export-Import Bank of China, the project’s lender.

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 1 month ago

Izzie wants to get out cheap ,,instead of paying the Chinese what he owes them or giving them more equity he wants to stiff them for pennies on the dollar in a US court ..The Chinese can wait him out or tell him f,,k off ,with Cuba opening Izzie does not own the cards he once did ,,This 80 million is the first money Izzie put up he borrowed 200 million to buy out PGC client Ruffin w/ the land as guarantee ..The Chinese don,t need Bah mar for our vote in the UN ,they can buy our politicians out right for 5 to 10 million,,

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DillyTree 5 years, 1 month ago

Brent has been making a lot of noise lately. Does one suppose he might be prepping for a political comeback? That ship sailed a very long time ago!

As for contempt -- why would Izmirlian alert and share information with Christie at this point? At every turn, it has been clear that Christie is so deeply compromised with and to the Chinese that he cannot be trusted in any way, shape or form! I sure as hell wouldn't have given Christie heads up on the bankruptcy filing or suit.

This is the death knell for the PLP -- and they are running like cockroaches into the dark while trying to deflect, blame and shovel more lies and horse manure at the people of the Bahamas. It is Christie who has showed contempt to the Bahamian people! (and Brent has only shown his true character as a fool .... )

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Publius 5 years, 1 month ago

Symonette needs to go and sit his --- down. Is he in bed with the Chinese too? Lots of beds around here now; we cannot swear these days for who is in them and who is not.

The man is putting up his own money to try and save the place and he is who Symonette classifies as having contempt for The Bahamas? Well then, when Symonette withheld money from his Party in 2012 which in turn helped the PLP win the election, can we call that contempt for The Bahamas too?

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SP 5 years, 1 month ago

....... PM PERRY GLADSTONE CHRISTIE - ‘Showed Total Contempt To Nation’ .......

A review of the PLP 2012 manifesto proves beyond doubt PM Christie and crew showed total contempt of the nation.

Post election 2012, Christie & crew virtually disappeared off the radar. They were far to busy with self importance and lining their own pockets to even pretend to carry out one promise laid out in their 2012 manifesto!

Based on PLP 2012 manifesto and subsequent actions of Christie & Cabinet, absolute "contempt to the nation" AND "total betrayal of the peoples trust" is immediately evident!

http://myplp.org/2012/04/24/christie-...">http://myplp.org/2012/04/24/christie-...

Review Christie's speech and manifesto in the above link and draw your own conclusions.

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