By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHA Mar yesterday urged officials participating in negotiations about the resort’s future to refrain from making public comments until the negotiations are complete.
A press statement released yesterday from resort officials reaffirmed the importance of renewed negotiations that began in China on Monday.
“It is clear that we and our government in the Bahamas recognise the importance to the Bahamas of completing construction and successfully opening Baha Mar as soon as possible,” the statement said.
“We appreciate the government’s efforts to try to help all parties work together to achieve a consensual resolution in a timely manner. We at Baha Mar want this, have an urgency to reach an appropriate resolution, and look forward to participating in discussions this week in China. As the government of the Bahamas has made clear in communications with us, the discussions to achieve the resolution are directly between the private parties — Baha Mar; China State Construction, the general contractor and its affiliates; and the lender, the Export-Import Bank of China, with the Bahamian government volunteering to be neutral in this process. Since the discussions are between the private parties, and the sensitivity of their content is critical to being able to try to work toward a consensual resolution, Baha Mar plans not to make any public statements on the discussions as they occur and, if at all, until they are concluded. We would hope all those attending conduct themselves in a similar fashion so that the private parties have the most conducive environment in which to undertake this effort.”
It is unclear what prompted Baha Mar officials to issue the statement calling for secrecy while the negotiations are underway.
Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson led a delegation to China over the weekend to resume discussions about opening the $3.5bn West Bay Street resort following several delays and a battle involving the developer, contractor, lender and the Bahamian government which spilled into the public arena two weeks ago when Baha Mar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a US Delaware Court.
The talks are expected to wrap up today, the same date when lawyers for the parties involved are set to return to the Supreme Court for an in chambers status hearing on Baha Mar.
Last week, Baha Mar asked the Supreme Court for an adjournment to a hearing on its application to have this jurisdiction ratify a US bankruptcy court judge’s approval for the resort to access $80m in debtor-in-possession financing as part of its bankruptcy filing.
All sides will meet again in the Supreme Court on July 20 for a substantive hearing on Baha Mar’s application.