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Baha Mar Deal Details Revealed

TRIBUNE BUSINESS

• ‘Devil in details’ sinks $300m Baha Mar deal http://bit.ly/1Ha...

• Bran: Work with China for Baha Mar solution http://bit.ly/1H4...

• Bran ‘talking poppycock’ on Baha Mar land http://bit.ly/1gj...

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE deal brokered by Prime Minister Perry Christie to secure the additional funding necessary to complete the Baha Mar project would have required an equal capital injection from both resort CEO Sarkis Izmirlian and general contractor China Construction America, according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

Although he declined to reveal the more “intricate” details of the deal Mr Christie negotiated with Export-Import Bank of China, Mr Wilchcombe expressed optimism that the government was poised to rapidly put the $3.5bn project back on track.

He was responding to reports that under this arrangement, the bank would have extended a loan of $150m on the condition that the developer invested $75m and the contractor $75m.

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Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

High among fears over the stalled project are concerns from some observers that a possible foreclosure would see the resort’s land fall into the ownership of the Chinese bank, the project’s largest lender.

Mr Wilchcombe said that although he believed there were specific protections embedded in the existing agreement to mitigate against this, the subject of land ownership was currently being discussed at high-level talks between the government and stakeholders.

He added that while speculation over the stalled project has not yet impacted the country’s brand, there have been some repercussions and his team was monitoring the matter daily.

“The truth is there have been concerns raised and repercussions of sorts, where there are high levels of speculations over the future of Baha Mar that you will have to, after all the legal matters are resolved, we will have to build again.”

He added: “The Bahamas is fortunate to have a brand, and be a brand that has stood the test of time. We’ve been in the tourism industry more than 50 years and we have been able to deliver and be associated with major brand names in the tourism community.

“The Bahamas, the brand, continues to do well and occupancy levels over the (July 4) holiday were great.”

Last week, 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 Baha Mar CEO Sarkis 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 Export-Import Bank.

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 last Tuesday.

He said this is supported by exchange of correspondence “as recently as June 26.”

Yesterday, Mr Wilchcombe said that while it was disappointing that the deal did not go through as planned, it was important to move forward in concert with the developer to achieve the mutual goal of seeing the resort completed and opened in the shortest time possible.

“There is only success in this,” he said, “and that is getting the properties open right now. We all are a bit taken aback by what has taken place, we wish it hadn’t, but it has. We wanted a smooth transitional path to opening, that’s behind us, what’s in front of us is dealing with issues on the table and pushing them aside to get to the next level.

“Mr Christie has ensured that negotiations with necessary authorities are taking place,” Mr Wilchcombe added.

Last Friday, hundreds of Baha Mar employees took to the streets to proclaim their support for the man who gave them a chance in a dismal job market.

Clad in the brand’s logo and blue colours, workers marched from Goodman’s Bay to the mega-resort’s parking lot chanting their affection for Mr Izmirlian.

Meanwhile, attorneys representing the government, the Export-Import Bank and Baha Mar are due in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for the resumption into a hearing into a motion to uphold the resort’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.

Comments

Economist 4 years, 1 month ago

The US Courts are the ones who can dictate to China Construction America which is why Izmirlian would have filed in the US.

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

Also the holding company ultimately owning Baha Mar is based in Delaware.

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ohdrap4 4 years, 1 month ago

3.5 billion dollars is peanut money man

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proudloudandfnm 4 years, 1 month ago

I just can't believe these guys anymore. They lie so damned much. I doubt seriously any deal was on the table. Tired of the flat out lies this damned government spews whenever it gets in trouble.....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 1 month ago

Christie didn't broker any deal, period. If he had done so, he would have been only too quick to introduce in last week's Supreme Court hearing the letters he claimed were exchanged in support of the deal he purports to have brokered. Christie remains as delusional as ever! His incompetence has contributed greatly to the Baha Mar debacle which means he's definitely not the one we should looking to get us out of this dreadful mess. This self-infatuated clown should have dissolved parliament by now; the Bahamian people no longer have any trust whatsoever in Christie's ability and the ability of his other cabinet members to govern our country.

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

OMG Obediah. please no more Baha Mar revealing is necessary cuz we done understand da whole mess.
One thing can be said with certainty, the nation leading up to da 2017 General Elections, cannot afford be looking at two PLP political parties. Do we da people really need a new leadership team pack, made up of da PM, Obadiah, Minnis and Loretta?
Comrade Voters across Bahamaland, come 2017 will be left to ponder whether Minnis & Loretta are among the red shirts opposition party, who cannot recognize the mushrooming negativity aimed at this PLP Cabinet. You'd think Minnis and Loretta would have had enough under the rule Papa Hubert, to even think of becoming PM Chrstie's, two latest puppets to join the land grab deception act performed by Baha Mar "Nation's" Izmirlian.
Minnis and Loretta, the Voters want you show them, the red shirts can do something “ all da way” new, not da old PLP ways.
Just be politically best you two red shirts, not to take the PLP Cabinet’s bait but use your energies lead protests to force the repossession of the peoples lands, and whilst ya’ll at it, go snatch back all them beaches stretching along 20 acres Nassau Town’s most exotic waterfront landscapes.
Comrades, no sound business man's or woman's would even think to take another 150 million dollars "taxpayers" monies to continue to conduct business with a man you are claiming has done deceived da PLP Cabinet?
Comrades, if come 2017 we will not vote PLP or FNM, then where does that leave, we the voters - sit on our votes, by staying away from the polling stations?

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 1 month ago

Go to the station and VOTE for an independent candidate or DNA in that order. If there is an independent - vote for him. TAL you should run yourself. It only costs $400 right? I would sponsor you $20 and I'm sure you would EASILY obtain the necessary 19 sponsors.

forms.hush.com/tmh

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duppyVAT 4 years, 1 month ago

We will watch this reality show play out (with our country's fiscal fate) until the next election cycle ....................... this will be the true national referendum issue (tourism: YES or NO)

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

Comrade Ava, being you is da Tribune's Chief Reporter, can you confirm that despite claims of Baha Mar workers having been paid by the PLP Cabinet, that as of this morning not a red cent have been deposited into workers bank accounts?

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

Unless Christie was holding a certified cheque from the Chinese for $75 million, it was all talk. The Chinese are malfeasance presence here, holding up work, not paying, over-charging, shoddy workmanship, and generally being the deceptive, lying, dishonest people that we know them for in their hacking, their currency manipulation, their total lack of human rights, human dignity and a track record of perfidy.

So this deal was pure talk, because the Chinese would have agreed to anything to see another $75 million of Izmirlian money, and then continue their shenanigans. Instead, Izmirlian did pony up his own money, but to pay the staff and finish the project, unlike the Chinese who are being low-lifes. They and their government buddies don't give a hoot about the sovereignty of the Bahamas and the plight of the Bahamian workers. Otherwise their slimebag Gomez, who is a government minister would not be in court, coupling up with the Chinese. It makes me sick as a Bahamian patriot. There are obviously none in the government.

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PastorTroy 4 years, 1 month ago

Statement From The Office Of The Attorney General

...It is important that the public be made aware that the orders obtained unilaterally by the Baha Mar entities from the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware were obtained on the basis that matters profoundly affecting the Government and people of The Bahamas will be subject to adjudication in the United States. This would have serious and far-reaching implications for Commonwealth of The Bahamas as a sovereign nation.

Completion and opening of the Baha Mar resort are matters of paramount importance to The Bahamas. The Government feels very strongly that resolution of the disputes that have delayed the project should occur in the Bahamas, subject to adjudication (to the extent that they cannot be resolved consensually) by Bahamian courts, consistent with the sovereignty of The Bahamas. The Office of the Attorney General and the Government’s international lawyers are therefore examining options that will ensure that the courts of The Bahamas are front and centre in this matter. This would not preclude ancillary orders being sought from foreign courts should such orders be needed – but as a matter of high constitutional principle and in the interests of national sovereignty it cannot be the other way around.

I also understand this: Economist: The US Courts are the ones who can dictate to China Construction America which is why Izmirlian would have filed in the US.

Banker: Also the holding company ultimately owning Baha Mar is based in Delaware

1. Did Bah Mar agreed to the deal brokered by PM Christie? if yes, why the bankruptcy? 2. Did PM Christie knew about the bankruptcy before it was filed? if yes, why the shock?

It does seem like China and The Bahamas has become co conspirators in getting rid of Izmirlian family or they have lost confidence in them, with two global brand names (China, Bahamas) having this much delays building a resort this is definitely damaging to their brand image. The latter does seem to be more plausible, simply because of the signs the protesters were holding during their demonstration. This now begs another question: IS THERE ANY HONOR AMONG THIEVES?

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

If the Chinese were interested as partners in finishing, they would not have slowed down the work. They were the ones that caused this mess by playing chess in trying to take it over.

The statement by Mayonnaise-Gibson stating that the bankruptcy must be adjudicated in the Bahamas is pure bull. A Delaware company applied for bankruptcy protection in the US where it is domiciled. Because it operates in the Bahamas, is secondary in terms of legal status. The Bahamian bankruptcy laws are archaic, the justice system is corrupt and the government has already subjugated the sovereignty issue to the Chinese. We are their puppets and they control the purse strings that control Christie's policies.

There is nothing in the Baha Mar deal that affects the sovereignty of the Bahamas, other than the fact that the government's policy was subsumed by their Chinese taskmasters. This is purely a business deal that will create a lot of jobs. It has nothing to do with the government, other than the corrupt PLP government has a horse in this race and they are trying to fix the result.

The government is a pawn in an attempt at another Chinese atrocity of cheating, lying and stealing to further their objectives.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

Comrades, isn't Atlantis Paradise Island also involved with a case being argued before a Delaware court? Isn't the future of Atlantis also highly uncertain?
Contrary PLP cabinet press releases over past 72 hours guaranteeing their paycheques monies, were being deposited directly to their back accounts, not a single damn worker at Baha Mar, have been paid a red penny.
Hello Bamsi, hello Carnival 2015!

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John 4 years, 1 month ago

If you look and see who were the benefactors of the Anticipated Bah MAr success then you could understand why the deal went south. It was all selected Bahamians and paper Bahamians. While Bah Mar got thousands of acres of prime Bahamian acearge for nought and hundreds of millions in concessions the only benefit to the average Bahamian was jobs while the political elite and others planned to hog up everything. The same way a hog eats is the same way he passes waste and Bah Mar has popped on the entire Bahamas. You included! Happy Independence still.

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John 4 years, 1 month ago

The one thing this government should NOT is take possession of Bah Mar and try to operate it. We would find ourselves in a worse position than Greece

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John 4 years, 1 month ago

Bah Mar got over 1,000 acres of prime Cable Beach real estate for free. Average price per acre is around $1 million. Beach front is even more. Yet the government had to pay for road re-routing that benefits the resort mostly. Why was the resort not done in phases? Why did Izmirilin not have his own quantity surveyor/engineer on site to ensure compliance and work standard? Where is the missing $1 billion? Some are suggesting that the owner siphoned his money out when he saw the project was in trouble. Some say the project was just poorly managed. Who i(besides the Bahamian people) is the victim in this Bah Mar saga? Who is the culprit?

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John 4 years, 1 month ago

There are talks that more than one person may be close to nervous breakdown over this Bah Mar matter one has millions of dollars in investments waiting for the project to open. You can guess who one of the others are.

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asiseeit 4 years, 1 month ago

Our ever so smart PLP government better understand that their best friend China is a bully. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-...">http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-...

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

Comrades let this be the final learning lesson that NO commercial use lands are to be sold to any foreigner. They can enter into a leasehold but never own - never never. Residential property sales non- Bahamalanders, must come with strict restrictions.
Pindling was wrong to restrict only white foreigners from buying properties but we must demand a new land sales policy. At minimum foreigner buyers residential properties should not be allowed own any residential real estate valued under $500,000 and pay special property taxes above that paid by locals.
i\If they do not build on the land within a maximum period of 3 years, the land will be levied special taxes and if not paid promptly, land ownership will revert back to the state.

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jus2cents 4 years, 1 month ago

Yep ^!

Ask the right Questions: Why do the Chinese really want to take over Baha Mar, for just a Resort to visit? or is the real prize one of our other untapped resources = OIL?

The Beast Must Feed....China is running out of many Basic bioresources, forests, good soil, fresh water and oil, the sky is so polluted it's hardly ever blue in some chinese cities .

And all this is nothing new, China has been mining the Earths resources for decades all over the world- http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi...">http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi...

Bahamas just happen to be next on the buffet.

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

There is no oil in the Bahamas. BPC or Bahamas Petroleum Company is a penny stock promoter. They make all of their money on the stock play There shares are trading at two pence. They swear up and down that they will find a drilling partner but never do. They are the market makers, so they create news to raise the lower the price of the Over-The-Counter shares. That is how they make all of their money. The movie, The Wolf of Wall Street was a good movie explaining how BPC works as well as other penny stock promoters.

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

Comrade Banker we da people have move away from our gamblers state of mind - Baha Mar will answer all our economic problems, or if only we can discover sustainable supply of oil, it will make ever Bahamalander an instant millionaire. My vision of Bahamaland, excludes both pipe dreams that even if successful will hold our people slaves to the money-shakers and political interest parties controlling both promised ventures.

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John 4 years, 1 month ago

Can someone please answer while I get drunk: How could a government give (give) away $1 billion resources to a foreign group and retain no equity stake in Bah Mar whilst almost 1/3 of its citizens are at or below the poverty line and another 1/3 are struggling to meet the bare necessities of life...how and why?

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

Comrade John, da answer is simplistic. Get together with a few like-minded people, form a political party, get some deep pocket money backers and talk total lies to the voters, long enough for them believe, you and ya party's candidates should be given a chance at running we taxpayers monies and things for next 5 years.
Isn't' this exactly what the DNA has been attempting since 2012? They just needs learns how lies people, more convincingly. God political luck Comrade John!

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