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Updated: 'Door Closing' On Izmirlian's Opportunity To Strike A Deal

FORMER State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez.

FORMER State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

STATE Minister for Legal Affairs Damien Gomez has dismissed Baha Mar’s recent accusations against Prime Minister Perry Christie, stating that the “door was closing” on developer Sarkis Izmirlian’s opportunity to strike a deal that would allow him to stay on at the helm of the $3.5bn mega resort.

“We’re moving forward to secure a liquidator,” he told The Tribune in a recent interview, “once that’s done, it’s in his interest to strike a deal as soon as possible otherwise creditors will take over and the restructuring will not be to his liking.”

In a press statement on Friday, Baha Mar accused Prime Minister Perry Christie of misleading the country over the details of ongoing discussions in China and further jeopardising the future of the resort.

The resort called Mr Christie’s announcement on Thursday night that it would seek to liquidate the stalled project an unnecessary and reactionary distraction that would put both its staff and assets at risk.

On Friday, the resort insisted that it was still engaged in good faith negotiations with China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the parent company of its general contractor, China State Construction America (CCA), and lender, the Export-Import Bank of China.

However, Mr Gomez claimed that any statement made by the resort could not be trusted at this time, adding that the accusations were not surprising given the previous attacks on Mr Christie made by Mr Izmirlian.

He insisted that the government’s team did not leave Beijing prematurely and contested the resort’s version of negotiations that contradicted Mr Christie’s national address on Thursday.

“That’s what they’ve (Baha Mar) been doing all along,” he said. “It may be that they thought we were so stupid that we wouldn’t do anything, but the reality is that Mr Izmirlian did not attend the actual negotiations. He didn’t even send his number two man until the middle of it.”

Yesterday he said he was preparing his arguments for today’s Supreme Court hearing, where the government will oppose Baha Mar’s application to have its US bankruptcy filing approved here.

When told that Baha Mar has insisted that talks in China with its partners are ongoing, Mr Gomez said he did not know anything about that.

He added yesterday: “If they are able to reach a settlement (today), to God be the glory. I would imagine if they reach a settlement that would be evident by their (Baha Mar) withdrawing the actions in Delaware and London and reaching an accord with the bank and the contractor, which would enable us to go forward without any litigation at all. I wish him (Mr Izmirlian) luck if that’s what he’s really trying to do.”

The government has said that the talks in China fell through last week because Baha Mar required increased funding – which one source said was $600 million – and did not agree to immediately drop its bankruptcy filing and lawsuit against its contractor.

Mr Christie has said the compulsory liquidation is similar to Chapter 11, but would place the project under the control of local liquidators.

“The government fails to explain how availing itself of the Winding Up Act of Bahamian law provides more or better relief than the Chapter 11 process,” Baha Mar’s statement on Friday read.

“The statute does not have the robust protections afforded to all creditors under Chapter 11. In effect the government of the Bahamas’ legal manoeuvres are an attempted nationalisation of a private investor’s assets.”

“Further, Bahamas law itself provides for recognition of proceedings such as Chapter 11 to give legal effect on Bahamas soil. Such mutual recognition of cross border insolvencies is a common international legal standard existing among many countries.”

In response, Mr Christie called Baha Mar’s assertion that the liquidation petition amounts to government seizure of private assets as “absolute nonsense.”

The resort has claimed that discussions did not end when the government’s team left the table last week, and that it believed that stakeholders had developed an understanding of the project’s needs and are willing to provide the required financing.

“Baha Mar has not refused to dismiss the Chapter 11,” its statement on Friday said. “We have agreed to dismiss the case as soon as parties have a mutually-beneficial binding agreement to the benefit of all parties, an interest the government should share, rather than taking actions that risk irreparably damaging the discussions.

Baha Mar added that the project remained on budget despite the four-month delay past March 27, the opening date that China State Construction reportedly promised the developer and Mr Christie.

And the resort said that the project continued to survive due to the millions invested by the Izmirlian family, whose investment in the project totalled more than $900 million.

Baha Mar was initially expected to open last December.

Meanwhile, Mr Gomez said today’s legal arguments on Baha Mar’s bankruptcy filing are expected to be lengthy and he did not know if the court would have time to address the government’s winding up petition.

“The recognition application is quite long and you’ve got four, five sets of lawyers making submissions, that’s going to take us into late in the afternoon. We (will) go as far as we can, I don’t know practically if we will finish or not,” he said.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

This fella Gomez sure does bear a striking resemblance to all of those "Minions" in that recently released new animated movie. Thankfully he's a Minion with two eyes; the Minions with only one eye scare the hell out of me!

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arussell 4 years, 7 months ago

I look forward to reading your comments.....lmbo!!!

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

"but the reality is that Mr Izmirlian did not attend the actual negotiations. He didn't even send his number two man until the middle of it."

But Mr Christie never showed up to the negotiations and he didn't send his number two man either. Saying Mr Izmirilian "is doing what he did before", doesn't say if what Mr Izmirilian is saying THIS time is true or not. It's relying on people to disbelieve Mr Izmirilian because he's Mr Izmirilian.

"He insisted that the government's team did not leave Beijing prematurely"

Of course not! they left on the date printed on their pre-purchased tickets! Exactly when they intended and not one minute before. That doesn't say whether they left before the talks ended...

Somebody is lying. Either the talks ended when the Bahamian delegation left or they didn't, either Mr Izmiralian refused to take chapter 11 off the table or he didn't. Yes or no answers please. Not much experience judging Mr Izmirilian's veracity, on the other hand, this cabinet leaves much to be desired...

I'll name the BEC bribe taker at the end of the month. I couldn't tell you benzene was leaking because I'd lose my job, mrs Reckley is a very good lunch vendor, What gold watch? Carnival costs much less than 9million and had a GDP impact of 50m. I have no horse in this race. I don't remember if I called Mr Newbold or if he called me. When we review the numbers, we created in excess of 10,000 jobs, those internationally recognized jobs formulas restrict our calculations. Kohlrautz? Who's that again? This case can't go to court because there's conflicting evidence. I'll issue an investigation into the 100,000 BEC cash payment immediately. LOI....

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Zakary 4 years, 7 months ago

  • Somebody is lying.

This much is certain. There’s a lot of lying and misrepresentation of factual events. I wish the media would put more work in, because there are enough statements floating around now to begin putting the essential pieces of this saga together.

One thing I do know is that the truth doesn’t need force, the only thing that has to be backed up by force is a lie.

  • "We're moving forward to secure a liquidator," he told the Tribune, "once that's done it's in his interest to strike a deal as soon as possible otherwise creditors will take over and the restructuring will not be to his liking."

This makes me smile, because if you’re securing a liquidator why would you still be talking about the developer striking a deal.

In fact this isn’t the time for deals because according the http://www.tribune242.com/news/2015/j..." title="Prime Minister National Address" target="_blank">Prime Minister the deal fell through;

  • After working diligently around the clock to arrive at a solution acceptable to all parties, and having made considerable progress, the talks nonetheless ended without agreement whereupon the delegation returned to Nassau this morning and promptly reported to Cabinet along with its legal advisors.

Come on journalists, or do we only have reporters? The more these officials talk, the more they inadvertently reveal. I’m sure there are users on the tribune that have already pointed this out.

I don’t know how factual Baha Mar's claims are but the current tit for tat, blame game going on clearly demonstrates there’s a lot of nonsense going on behind the scenes.

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

None other than our State Minister for Legal Affairs, Damian Gomez aka the Minion, states to the Tribune: "We're moving forward to secure a liquidator,....once that's done it's in his {Sarkis Izmirlian} interest to strike a deal as soon as possible otherwise creditors will take over and the restructuring will not be to his liking." This is tantamount to a public admission that by filing an application for the liquidation of Baha Mar, the Christie-led PLP government is seeking to force Baha Mar and the Izmirlian family to accept whatever unfair terms are put to them by both the Chinese general contractor (CCA) and the Chinese Export Import Bank. In a liquidation supervised by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas, the shots are called by the largest admitted creditors which would be the two aforementioned Chinese stakeholders. In other words, notwithstanding the appointment of one or more "neutral" liquidators acceptable to the largest creditors, the Chinese stakeholders would be, for all intents and purposes, firmly in the driving seat of the entire liquidation process. This seems to be precisely what the Christie-led PLP government wants to happen notwithstanding that Baha Mar (and the Izmirlian family through Baha Mar) have already found it necessary to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware as a result of the severity of its grievances with the Chinese stakeholders, which grievances are the subject of very weighty legal claims that have already been asserted and are now before the High Court in the U.K. By all appearances, our Christie-led PLP government is wrongfully in bed with the Chinese stakeholders to unjustly wrest control and possession of the Baha Mar project away from the rightful principle developer of the project (Sarkis Izmirlian). It would be a travesty of monumental proportion for the Bahamas and the Bahamian people if the Delaware court (judge) permitted the Christie-led PLP government to effectively nationalize the Baha Mar property for the benefit of the Chinese stakeholders by abuse of due process. The Christie-led PLP government is notorious for its willingness to wrongfully "lean" on matters before our Supreme Court in an effort to affect a desired outcome.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

The Christie-led PLP government is inviting a very costly law suit by virtue of the vindictive actions of Christie, Maynard-Gibson and Gomez that have already caused Baha Mar to incur significant losses that it otherwise would not have incurred. Whatever Baltron is hiding from the Bahamian people must be worth the scorched earth path that Christie has embarked on!

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Craig 4 years, 7 months ago

I am no fan of Izmirlian but fair is fair. CCA was the sole cause of the delay to the project. Had they completed the project on time as they were contractually obligated to do all of the mess would have been avoided. Now Izmirlian is faced with possibly loosing his investment and the government is complicit in ensuring it happens. It all seems like some type of conspiracy. Perhaps the government and the Chinese wanted Izmirlian out and they used the mechanism of CCA substantially delaying the project to do so.

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banker 4 years, 7 months ago

The PLP are desperate. Even the feeble legal minds (which is all of the piss-yellow PLP lawyers) know that their actions will be overturned by the Privy Council.

I am just waiting for the backbenchers to get sick of Christie and introduce/support a non-confidence motion in the government. Do you notice who is strangely silent in all of this? And who shouldn't be? Ole fat grubby fingers hisself. Interesting.

There will be a night of long knives. Ortland is the jackass testing the waters for the timing of the palace coup.

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Rontom 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't know banker, but it appears that once winding up is applied and sanctioned by the courts, nothing can stop it

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

Sidetrack: I think Mr Bodie is hilarious (not being facetious he is very funny), but I hope he never makes it to Parliament or Cabinet. He has a very twisted view of the rights and privileges of Bahamian government officials, Down to advocating what appears to be outright illegal activity. Case in point, unless he was telling a joke at the time, he said, ~"there is nothing wrong with skimming, taking a little off the top, skimming is not corruption". (He's repeated this sentiment multiple times). Not realizing that the "skimmed" money is coming from the Treasury and going to someone who has 1. already been paid for their job and 2. Being used for a purpose that was never disclosed to or approved by Cabinet. Thats the definition of EMBEZZLEMENT. Whoever allows themselves to be closely aligned with him cannot be trusted, they are of the same mindset.

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DEDDIE 4 years, 7 months ago

The saga gets interesting. Bahamar is comprise of 14 companies. Which company carry debt, which ones does not. Although Bahamar may have file for chapter 11 you structure your companies in a way to protect it from outside entities like creditors and in this case the government. Takes for instance, the debt Bahamar inherited from Crystal Palace, which includes BEC, that is most likely one company. Bahamar may be a parent company only in name.The Chinese will have to join the government for any action to be successful. To thwart the government action all Bahamar have to do is pay the government entities it owes. Remember chapter 11 was file by Bahamar and not its creditors. Also the terms of the land exchange and the company they fall under will be pivotal.

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newcitizen 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem is that the government and our 'leaders' clearly have no idea who large corporations are structured or how they shield themselves or even how Chapter 11 bankruptcy works. They are so out of their league in what they are attempting to do that it can only end in disaster for the Bahamas.

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Economist 4 years, 7 months ago

China is notorious for its corruption.....emmm......government to appoint a liquidator.....emmm.....on whose instructions?????........corruption...China....emmm.

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lionfish 4 years, 7 months ago

If 'the door is closing' and not completely closed, then what was Perry's late night address all about? Once again he spoke too soon and when not appropriate.

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newcitizen 4 years, 7 months ago

I wonder what's going to happen to these PLP 'leaders' if they manage to swindle almost a billion dollars from some Armenians. That's not the kind of money you walk away from.

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asiseeit 4 years, 7 months ago

I am worried about the precedent this set's. So if I have a company that say is in trouble the government can just step in and take it? What about land, can they take that as well? This is scary stuff! How is one to know if their investment safe from the sticky fingers of government? This gives me nightmares!

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrades, the Bank, Contractor & Government being the three major players in Baha Mar have all the reasons to feel Izmirlian filed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy in "bad faith." I am surprised neither party, or ANY creditor have not partition the Delaware court to dismiss his application, based on it being filed in "bad faith?" I believe if properly laid out before the Judge it has an extremely high degree his application will be dismissed. Even Izmirilan continues to claim his "friendly" negotiations are still ongoing in "good faith" and are showing positive signs of success?

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

Is either the AG's law firm or Davis &Co representing CCA or Exim Bank?

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jus2cents 4 years, 7 months ago

Talk about burning bridges!! Every sentence he uttered was an assault/insult, and not something a Minister who wants to FIX things would ever say.

What the hell are these guys drinking, their cool-aid must be spiked with insanity!? They're hot-heads, where's the calm thoughtful diplomacy. This is just knee-jerk and reactionary, very childish actions, just trying to goad and create hysteria and really it's all about their EGO's... pathetic.

They are gambling with lives, hoping their bravado / abuse will work for them in the next election.

Meanwhile REAL People Are Suffering.

Bahamas pay attention to all of this PLEASE, this is a turning / tipping point Your Future depends on these decisions.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

All waters lead back Bahamaland, for Izmirlian. Comrade where is your evidence that anyone but Izmirlian is burning every bridge as he crosses over to the other side to the Delaware River? Izmirlian must have forgotten that same the river flows 419 miles into Delaware Bay where its waters enter the Atlantic Ocean and it continues its onward flow right into the Cable Beach waters outside his Baha Mar. You see, no matter where Izmirlian goes, he will never avoid drifting back into Bahamaland's territory, forced to answer before Bahamaland's courts and to the government in power of the day.

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jus2cents 4 years, 7 months ago

I am no one's Comrade TalRussell, and I don't call this burning bridges - "And the resort said that the project continued to survive due to the millions invested by the Izmirlian family, whose investment in the project totaled more than $900 million." Action speaks louder than words.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade have you ever soon proof of it being 900 million? How much that 900 million dollars was used to cover his other investment loses in Bahamaland? If 900 million is to be used, let's see proof. is that a fair request? If the government is to be believed, this same man has not even provided them with the payroll documents requested to fund his "citizens" of which taxpayers are now funding 100% of their salaries, and it may also include foreigners? Doesn't it all comes back to, it sure sounds like either he is dealing in "bad faith, or it's everyone but him?

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newcitizen 4 years, 7 months ago

Well Tal, the documents submitted to the court in Delaware actually show a $850+ million investment into Baha Mar by the Izmirlians. Don't be throwing out red herrings trying to cloud the actual facts. Lets stay on topic.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade is it necessary to prove every fact that you want to submit as evidence at time of submission? i didn't think so.

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 7 months ago

Whatever the amount is - he will just walk away from it all now - and say "Good bye, good luck - you'll need it."

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newcitizen 4 years, 7 months ago

Tal, you used to actually add an interesting perspective to these discussions, but more and more you are just wasting space on the page.

Regardless of what you think of Izmirlian, the way the government is acting is only hurting the Bahamas and Bahamians.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade I promise will see what I can do to add more prospective you will find interesting to your perception of what my prospective should look like.

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killemwitdakno 4 years, 7 months ago

I take Bahamians still won't be able to invest. Big extravaganza Bahamians can't gamble in, will be slightly off putting to visitors. Too stupid to gamble , too stupid to invest.

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killemwitdakno 4 years, 7 months ago

How about offering Izmirlian an option of swapping for another Chinese construction company.

The Caribbean nation of Antigua is celebrating the groundbreaking of the Yida International Investment Group’s new Antigua Special Economic Zone.

In June 2014, within hours of taking office, the administration of new Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced it had inked a memorandum of understanding with Yida to construct a $740m mixed-use tourism project. The Chinese firm says its project will include a casino, two five-star hotels, 1,300 residential units, a golf course, conference center, marina and other amenities.

http

://calvinayre.com/2015/05/01/casino/antigua-casino-project-hopes-to-avoid-bahama-drama/

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John 4 years, 7 months ago

Christie gat all the bloggers working overtime today.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

You Comrade red shirts are a confusing bunch. You're at head the first lines shouting hell no whenever a foreign power, financial arm or organization - even attempts tell us natives what we as a people can and cannot do. Yet, your mindset says, it's okay to run off to Delaware file a bankruptcy case as long as what you're really trying to do is to tell our own courts that it really makes legal sense to expect our courts to uphold and follow the directives of some Delaware judge? Why not have all our Plaintiffs file their claims in foreigner courts, just to get rid laws we don't like back at home? Wishful thinking if you think our Judges will toe-tail foreigner Judges. You could be right but only if Izmirlian can find one them Judges, with two tails hanging off his you know what.

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newcitizen 4 years, 7 months ago

Tal, this isn't a Red shirt Yellow shirt issue. No government, FNM, PLP, or even DNA should be doing what they are doing now.

Also, where was your great outrage when Atlantis entered Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the US in 2012?

The Baha Mar company is incorporated in Delaware, as well as the fact that the Bahamas does not have modern bankruptcy laws, they had to file in Delaware.

All you want to do is turn it into a red vs yellow debate when we are all about to lose here. Stop playing petty politics.

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asiseeit 4 years, 7 months ago

Robert Mugabe would be proud. How has that worked out for Zimbabwe by the way?

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MonkeeDoo 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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John 4 years, 7 months ago

Now it's Izmirilin's turn to bring an injunction against the Bahamas government and China Exim bank until his chapter 11 is dealt with. Preventing them from disposing of Bah Mar. This ger be long

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John 4 years, 7 months ago

"Hi I'm a tourist and this is my first time to the Bahamas. Can you tell me if Bah Mar is located anywhere near the Defense Force base in Coral Harbor? I heard those two properties have a lot in common."

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

The following is posted word for word on a U.S. Department of State website: "Article 27 of the Bahamian Constitution prohibits deprivation of property without prompt and adequate compensation. There is no evidence that the Government has ever expropriated a business, and both major political parties have stated that nationalization will not be an instrument of Government policy." However it now seems quite clear that Christie, Maynard-Gibson, Gomez et al. are precipitously (and possibly maliciously) seeking to nationalize the properties under development by Baha Mar, which by public admission of Christie himself is a project 97-98% complete at an out-of-pocket equity cost to the principle developer of about US$900 million. The likely malicious intent of the Christie-led PLP government is probably evidenced by the very fact that they will be relying on the principal Chinese stakeholders in the project to provide them (the Bahamian government) with the financial wherewithal necessary to provide the principle developer (Sarkis Izmirlian and his family) with prompt and adequate compensation as required by Article 27 of our Constitution. In other words, the Christie-led PLP government, in making an application to the Supreme Court of The Bahamas for the liquidation of Baha Mar, is aiding and abetting the Chinese stakeholders in their efforts to acquire full ownership and control of the Baha Mar project at a bargain basement price taken out of the hide of the Izmirlian family. A truly disgusting abuse of due legal process!

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

Our PM has already had a conversation with his Minister of Finance (himself) and the latter has confirmed to the former that the Chinese stakeholders in the Baha Mar project have undertaken to ensure the Christie-led PLP government will have the financial wherewithal necessary to pay prompt and adequate compensation of circa US$900 million less a 50% haircut, i.e. about US$450 million, to Baha Mar for the nationalization of all its property located in the Bahamas.

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Zakary 4 years, 7 months ago

This This This. In any business venture the party with the most gold makes the rules, and everyone else follows, and this I expect.

But, what should raise red flags is the nature of this deal at its conception. Not only do the two largest admitted creditors contain the most stake in this project, but they also effectively possess complete control over both the financing and direct construction of Baha Mar. They are both under the Chinese umbrella and that in my opinion is insane.

I don’t intend to rile up the political nutjobs, but I have to agree with the former Prime Minister on his http://www.thenassauguardian.com/inde..." title="Old Nassau Guardian News" target="_blank">concern for the number of Chinese workers involved.

And remember those https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09..." title="Baha Mar Secret Cables" target="_blank">secret cables leaked by wikileaks on the matter where the Americans expressed their concern in conversations with Robert Sands;

  • “Regardless of whatever number of workers the parties agree upon, the continuous arrival of thousands of low-wage Chinese workers in The Bahamas will likely lead to a significant increase in illegal migration of Chinese from The Bahamas to the United States...”

Disclaimer: I'm not a Baha Mar apologist, just to get that out of the way...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

Your dogs cannot possibly be potcakes as they show no signs of mange, fleas, ticks or starvation. They must be U.S. mutts at a pier on the shores of Delaware! Please, do try to be funnier!!

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

Those healthy looking Delaware mutts look ready to hump both Maynard-Gibson and that little Minion, Gomez. This ain't gonna be pretty!

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Baha10 4 years, 7 months ago

Do we get to claim the G-650 also? It does say "Baha Mar" on the side of it and Fred deserves to travel in style. Also, the House in Lyford would make a nice PM Residence, another priority.

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

No. At Franky Wilson's request, these particular assets will be made available to the new Chairman of BEC.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 7 months ago

Door is surely closing on Damien and the PLP .............. we need to get Cable Beach under new management (not Chinese) and new ownership and new PR .......... sell off those 5 hotels and get them on the market one at a time .................. and deal with American brands ....... thats our bread and butter ............ this Chinese experiment is a gamble gone bad

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade, while many done concluded the Izmirlian experiment has failed and his 3.5 billion dollars worth's Cable Beach laboratories should be liquidated for a quick self-off, the reds want him hold-on. We can welcome the Chinese as tourists and those for business ventures, provided they are select privately owned small to medium size enterprises and not attached/fronting for, or financed by their government. We are also open Chinese nationals becoming citizens Bahamaland. The days when ANY foreign national will ever again be granted crown lands, or allowed buy acres beach and waterfront properties, must end and end now. Come visit, work or invest in Bahamaland but only under and on the crystal clear conditions of da natives.

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jups 4 years, 7 months ago

Hello Everyone,

I am a total outsider looking in, who has been reading up on the unfortunate situation with this project, and I have no ties to any political party in the country, Sarkis, or the Chinese. Its interesting to read things like this as of course everyone will have their own opinions, which in itself and has really sparked quite the online debate. Maybe somebody can clarify some tthings:

  1. Are the talks actually finished between all the parties? With all the back and forth going on its hard to determine. Reading your PM's statement they are finished without success, but wouldn't that warrant a full out press release stating no deal? I also found it interesting that when the PM was striking back at the comments made by Baha Mar, he did not deny that, or the list of things that they wrote. He only spoke about this winding up petition and how Baha Mar basically didn't know what they were talking about.

  2. If Baha Mar was to get their approval for chapter 11 - wouldn't your fellow Bahamians still be employed right now while a new plan is being hatched? I ask this because I see many people upset that Sarkis went to Deleware to protect his assests...well thats putting it lightly, 900 million to be exact. What I find interesting is that on both sides of this discussion for those who agree/disagree with Sarkis, both do not want the Chinese to take or have control of this large piece of real estate. Wouldn't his filing for chatper 11 have achieved this? Also, if Bahamas does not have that type of frame work in place legally, what's the opposition to an investor trying to protect his investment? Mind you, he wasn't looking to file chapter 11 to pull out of the Bahamas, it was to continue to move forward in the Bahamas and get this project open...yes of course to his beneift, but moreso the benefit of the Bahamian people with the thousands of jobs created. Last week when I was playing like I was a stock market guru online, I lost $300USD investing in some random stock..boy I was upset. Could you imagine having a 900 million investment and losing that?

I don't pretend to know anything about the law, or what exactly is really going on there, I was just curious as I read all the posts. Bahamas is a beautiful place and I know that if that place opens, tons of people would flock there for vacation. Unfortunately the longer it takes, the more skepticism people would have with booking, especially tour operators who basicially can make or break it for the property. Whereas you would normally have lots of bookings in advance,if this project stretches out past the end of the year, people would not want to book until the property is actually open. Us North Americans love to run away from the cold and we start booking our winter vacations stating the end of August, advance bookings are where its at.

I truly hope it all works out for the benefit of the Bahamian people.

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John 4 years, 7 months ago

WARNING: IF GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO GET TOO INVOLVED in the legal wranglings of BAH MAR it can cause considerable damage to the Bahamian economy who'll running up an astronomical legal and other expenses bill that this country cannot afford. Especially at this time when economic activity already seems to be on a decline.

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asiseeit 4 years, 7 months ago

So when Perry them want YOUR land or business you gonna be OK with that? Yinna gonna just be fine when they say the nation needs you property for X or Y and we will give you penny's on the dollar if you lucky? That's what this is, make no mistake.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 7 months ago

Did you see how much the PLP government just paid ole drug-pin Philip Bethel for land in Eleuthera to build a mini hospital ..... and how the PLP MPs defended the "good" Bethel did for the country while he was in the House of Assembly????????? .............. they have no shame

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrades, obviously the PR people on Izmirlia's payroll (oops now taxpayers payroll) forgot's tell him, that when go out of your way to pick a public fight in an deliberate attempt to switch the focus of blame away from it's creator, to bring international embarrassment to any nation and her people, must you not be prepared to start ducking when the holder of da prime minister's office, starts hit back at the target of the enemy to the homeland. Comrades, should our PM, surrender Cable Beach to Izmirilia, I say ... hell NO!
Truth is by this point a Papa Hubert PM would have done had defense forces artillery soldiers, manning and aiming the canons fire, away from da hills Fort Charlotte, taking dead-aim in da direction Cable Beach.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

And to cap it all off, the Christie-led PLP government praises the likes of Flowers and Bastian for all the jobs their racketeering criminal activities provide Bahamians. Forget the many more families with thousands of young children whose lives are destroyed by gambling addicts that frequent these gaming houses to give away their meager wages rather than buy food or clothing for their families. Simply insane! Baha Mar and Sarkis Izmirlian have rightly determined that there is no way in hell their grievances would ever receive a fair hearing in the Bahamas under our current government.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Reality Check you and I are on same page about the part of the PLP Cabinet singing praises.
But I would think you would acknowledge that the Izmirlia thing is a far different matter, as no one saw even the slightest signs that prior to his running behind the PM's back to Delaware, PM Christie had never once said or done anything negative towards Izmirlia, and why should he have when Izmirlia was thought be on the same "positive" page as our nation's PM, on working together as a 'team" to get Baha Mar opened to the world.
Comrade Reality Check, would you do business, or play poker, with someone you feel could no longer be trusted to keep their hands on the table?

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banker 4 years, 7 months ago

would you do business, or play poker, with someone you feel could no longer be trusted to keep their hands on the table?

And that's why Izmirlian went to Delaware. Do you have the mental machinery to recognise this? Prolly not! LOL!

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licks2 4 years, 7 months ago

Mr PM and none of his fellow party members can be trusted to be honest, law abiding and just! We the Bahamian HAVE TO deal with them because we have no place to go where they are not there jacking everything up there as well!!!

They will lie, cheat, victimize, steal at the drop of a hat. . .THEY CAN NOT BE TRUSTED. . .FOR NOTHING!!!

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MonkeeDoo 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Russell: As Churchill might describe you, you are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. You need to realize that you can't eat national pride and as independent as we like to think we are, we are very much dependent on what the rest of the world thinks of us. Do you think Obama is happy with our love affair with the Chinese and their easy money. Could that be why he is trying to fix our deviant wagon.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade MonkeeDoo, I think you're refereeing to a quotation made by Britain's Winston Churchill, during a radio broadcast, so why don't I include what Churchill said as he concluded his radio broadcast:

We may remember the words of old John Bright, after the American Civil War was over, Churchill said to his audience of English working folk:

"At last after the smoke of the battlefield had cleared away, the horrid shape which had cast its shadow over the whole continent had vanished and was gone forever."

Comrade, at last after the financial confusion which Izmirlian, had set over 1,000 acres along 3,000 feet of Cable Beach, will have vanished and gone forever, after Izmirlian gone to wherever he next stop be's - but that ain't natives business, where he resurfaces.

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banker 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe you would like all foreigners to get out the Bahamas, so you can eat pigeon and coconuts every day? Almost every single cent in the pockets of every Bahamian today comes from Direct Foreign Investment. Bahamians produce nothing of GDP value. The oft-cited polymers of GB are foreign investment, and the other biggie, lobster exports, has declined by over 50% due to climate change and over-fishing. Have you noticed that even conch is getting beyond the price of most Bahamians?

Good luck with your attitude. Let me paraphrase: "At last the smoke had clear away (except for the burning landfill site), and the economic shape which had cast its shadow over the whole island had vanished and was gone forever. There was nothing but wailing and gnashing of teeth by the starving and hungry, except for the occasional popping of a nine millimeter bullet ending the misery of another true Bahamalander comrade."

Paints a pretty picture don't it?

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Zakary 4 years, 7 months ago

  • Do you think Obama is happy with our love affair with the Chinese and their easy money.

The Americans don’t seem to be too enthused at all. I remember reading some of those https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09..." title="Baha Mar Wikileaks" target="_blank">leaked cables regarding Baha Mar a couple of years ago and raising an eyebrow at some of their comments;

  • “It is clear that The Bahamas is looking to China to fill the economic void left by the recent decrease in U.S. visitors and investors. However, it is not yet clear what costs, if any, this new relationship will have on The Bahamas.”

  • “The Chinese appear committed to establishing a firm financial hold on projects, such as the Baha Mar, that will have a major impact on the Bahamian economy and leave the GCOB indebted to Chinese interests for years to come.”

And it looks like China isn’t having a good time right now due to the forceful correction of one their stock markets.

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

They weren't happy about China doing "farming" in Andros near the US Navy's research facility either. That was an interesting one, I wonder if the Bahamian government did any second takes when they first got the proposal.

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licks2 4 years, 7 months ago

The PLP is in one of their typical "victimization" mode after they have been "dissed" by a person. . .be he local or international!! The whole bunch of them "gang up" on ya in the press and will give you no justice and fair play!!!

They are looking so juvenile and petty with their "childish" and futile attempts to "get back" at mr Izmailian. . .like they would do one of our poor Bahamian brother or sister who happens to "cross" them! Usually, our poor Bahamian fellow man will get "jook-up" with no place to go for help but to God!! Now it is fixed that that slick fellow take they backsides to the US and English Courts. . .where een none of them checking for them PLP and they rude-boy ways!!!

Sorry to say. . .the mentality of the PLP and their comical dealing with BAHA MAR make our nation look like a joke!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

Had lunch with a European banker friend of mine today who informed me that the offshore bank she works for is awaiting a legal opinion from their U.K. counsel as to whether the recent actions of the Bahamian government involving Baha Mar constitute a triggering event under "the emergency flight clause" they have in most of the trust agreements with their clients. Not sure what this is all about as my friend said she could not elaborate further other than to say she might well find herself working in her bank's Singapore office next year. It seems the Bahamian government's interference with Baha Mar's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware is being increasingly seen by foreigners with a stake in our jurisdiction as an unwarranted and overly aggressive "nationalisation" event. The kind of event that makes "big money people" very nervous!

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

Yep. Watch for assets being sold off in prep for a quick move out the country. Why this government continues to be so blind in their quest to spite Izmirilian is beyond me. Maybe after this debacle they can open their next business "Everybody Loses"

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

There is a lot of truth to the adage that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck. No matter how hard Christie, Maynard-Gibson and Gomez may try to portray it otherwise, if the Christie-led PLP government is successful in its vindictive efforts to wrongfully wrest control and possession of Baha Mar away from Sarkis Izmirkian by using its influence with the Bahamian courts, the entire world will see this as nothing but a "nationalisation" by expropriation of private property. The detrimental consequences for the Bahamas and the Bahamian people of such an unconstitutional act will be huge! The international financial community, global anti-terrorism regulators and credit rating agencies are all still reeling from the Christie-led PLP government's other recent unconstitutional act which was to ignore the wishes of the Bahamian people, as expressed in a duly held national referendum, that the illegal organized criminal activities of the gaming web shops run by racketeering mobsters not be 'legalized'. Since then we have seen the Christie-led PLP government and its new found mobster friends exert their influence over our Court of Appeals in order to get an earlier conviction of Craig Flowers quashed; Flowers is one of the main thugs and local front men behind the many criminal enterprises of the gaming web shops.

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MonkeeDoo 4 years, 7 months ago

What is driving the Christie hysteria is the S & P anticipated credit downgrade. They don't understand that their plan cannot be achieved in time to avoid that in any case. Which one of these lawyers have ever been in any business much less a hotel development one. I hear the Izmerlian family own half of London - U.K. that is.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

Our government never told Baha Mar and Sarkis Irzmirlian at the inception of the project, nor at any time before Baha Mar's Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing in Delaware and legal actions filed in the High Court in the UK, that Baha Mar would not be able to avail itself of laws in jurisdictions other than the Bahamas as a means of remedying major disputes that might arise during the development. If the agreements signed by Baha Mar with the Bahamian government and the Chinese enterprises concerned do not limit Baha Mar to seeking legal redress in the Bahamian courts for the claims relating to its grievances and its financial/liquidity needs attributable to those grievances, then the Christie-led PLP government is patently wrong in its application that Baha Mar be placed in liquidation by the Bahamian courts. Absent a limiting contractual undertaking, choosing the best jurisdiction for legal proceedings that must be initiated is a fundamental right of any private sector enterprise like Baha Mar. For the Bahamian government to now suggest, at this late stage of the development, that the project is a de facto public sector enterprise by virtue of being too large too fail, and therefore all legal proceedings relating to it must be brought before the Bahamian courts, is patently wrong and most harmful to the developer. As for the large sums currently owing by Baha Mar to the Bahamian government, the mere fact that the Bahamian government allowed these sums to become so large is prima facie evidence that the government was only too willing to extend significant sums of credit to Baha Mar to help out with the project's liquidity needs. In fact, it is generally well known that the Bahamian government has a well established history (rightly or wrongly) of extending very large amounts of credit to foreign developers. It is therefore a great travesty for the the Christie-led PLP government to now turn around and attempt in a most unjust way to pull the rug out from under Baha Mar. The behaviour of the Christie-led PLP government in this matter wreaks of vindictiveness and malicious intent, deviously masked by the pretense of concern for the sovereignty of the Bahamas. We can only hope that the impending ruling of Justice Winder will be seen as a most important step towards restoring the faith of the Bahamian people and the global community in the independence of our judicial system. We have a Constitution that expressly does not permit the "nationalisation" of privately owned assets by any means!

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Reality_Check 4 years, 7 months ago

The Bahamas also enjoys reciprocating laws with other jurisdictions like the U.S. that require it to recognize the laws of those other jurisdictions. For all of the huff, puff and fluff by the many grossly overpaid lawyers who appeared before Justice Winder yesterday, the main legal issue is really a narrow one which should not take the Judge very long to rule on. There is no good reason (in fact, only many very bad reasons) for the Delaware Court not be fully recognized by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas in this matter.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

Hopefully Justice Winder knows only too well how receivership matters and liquidations drag on for many years in our Supreme Court because of the incompetency and/or shenanigans of the very highly paid Bahamian accountants and lawyers who, more often than not, are unable to set aside their enormous egos in order to best serve the interests of their clients as opposed to themselves. The Delaware Bankruptcy Court not only has great expertise and resources to handle large complex and important matters like the Baha Mar debacle, but also has a well-established track record for acting expeditiously. All of this is absolutely critical to the timely completion and ultimate financial success of the project at this critical and most time-sensitive juncture.

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SP 4 years, 7 months ago

Regardless Of It All, Just Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired Of The PLP And FNM

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