FORMER State Minister for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez.
By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SUPREME Court justice has set a hearing date of July 31 to address the government’s winding up petition against Baha Mar.
Damian Gomez, QC, State Minister for Legal Affairs, made a request of Justice Ian Winder yesterday for the earliest convenient date the court would hear a summons concerning the government’s application to place the troubled $3.5bn mega-resort into provisional liquidation. Mr Gomez is the lawyer appearing for the Crown in the matter.
Justice Winder proposed a hearing for July 31, though he has yet to rule on Baha Mar’s application for the court’s recognition of an order made by a US Delaware court in Baha Mar’s chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr Gomez and Roy Sweeting, counsel for Baha Mar in the proceedings before Justice Winder, accepted the date.
Prime Minister Perry Christie revealed on Thursday night in a national address that Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson filed a petition in the Supreme Court earlier that day to wind up the company. This came, he said, following unfruitful negotiations between representatives of Baha Mar, the government, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and the Export-Import Bank of China in Beijing last week.
Under such a petition, independent, provisional liquidators would be appointed by the court to supervise the winding up process.
If successful, the winding-up petition would place the 14 Bahamian-domiciled Baha Mar entities under the control of the Supreme Court and provisional liquidators.
On June 29, Baha Mar and 14 of its affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in a Delaware court, blaming the resort’s contractor, China Construction America (CCA), for the construction delays that caused it to miss previous opening deadlines.
The resort also took legal action against CCA’s parent company CSCEC in the English High Court.
Earlier this month, US Judge Kevin Carey approved the resort’s request to begin tapping into $80m in financing to keep the resort on track for opening while it undergoes Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
However, the Delaware judge’s approval of the debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing request, to include $30 million to be used by the resort over a 30-day period, was conditional on the approval of this country’s Supreme Court.
Justice Winder is expected to give a decision this Wednesday on whether he will approve the bankruptcy order.
CCA made a formal application in the US court yesterday to have the bankruptcy filing thrown out.