Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
NEGOTIATIONS to push forward the completion of the stalled Baha Mar resort began in the capital yesterday with all three major stakeholders, its court-appointed joint provisional liquidators, and the government.
Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson is once again leading the government delegation, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie, who confirmed the resumption of talks at a press conference yesterday.
Mr Christie did not give any details concerning negotiations; however, a source close to the matter confirmed that executives from the resort, its general contractor China Construction America (CCA) Bahamas, and major lender the Export Import Bank of China were all in attendance.
The latest round of talks, including the government and the three parties, comes more than two months after Mrs Maynard-Gibson led a team to mediate negotiations in Beijing, China. Those talks in July failed in two successive trips, the first of which ended with Mrs Maynard-Gibson returning to the capital and filing a winding-up petition in the Supreme Court after those negotiations reached a stalemate.
Joint provisional liquidators, KRyS Global and AlixPartner Services UK, were appointed by the Supreme Court on September 4.
In July, Baha Mar was reportedly offered $300 million in additional financing to finish the project by the EXIM Bank, on the condition that the resort drop its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the United States and its lawsuits against general contractor CCA.
However, the agreement to resolve Baha Mar’s woes was sunk when the warring parties were unable to agree on key details.
All bankruptcy cases involving Baha Mar’s Bahamian companies were dismissed last month.
Mr Christie met with the resort’s developer, Sarkis Izmirlian, in the Office of the Prime Minister on September 28, and the mega-resort’s two other major stakeholders the previous week while in New York.
Mr Christie met with the chairman of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), the parent company of CCA, in New York, and then had a conference call with the president of Export Import Bank of China.
Following his meeting with the prime minister, Mr Izmirlian released a statement explaining that he could not be the “only hand clapping” in negotiations to complete and successfully open the $3.5bn Cable Beach resort.
Mr Izmirlian said he emphasised to Mr Christie the need for a timely plan to resolve issues that have stalled the resort, and shared his grave concerns over the continuing liquidation process.
Baha Mar was first expected to open in December 2014. The resort missed that target and another scheduled date in March 2015.