(The Prime Minister's statement is online in full HERE)
PRIME Minister Perry Christie announced Monday night that the government and the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of China have entered into an agreement to have Baha Mar completed and sold to a “world-class hotel and casino operator”, with construction expected to resume in September.
Mr Christie made the announcement during a national address on ZNS, shortly after 7pm Monday. During his live address, Mr Christie did not announce who the new buyer is and he did not take questions from reporters.
He said under the terms of the agreement, the EXIM Bank has committed to funding the costs to finish the project and the resort’s general contractor, China Construction America (CCA) Bahamas, will complete outstanding work. He said CCA will also resolve outstanding claims with its suppliers and contractors.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that earlier today, the government of the Bahamas and the Export Import Bank of China signed an agreement under which the Baha Mar resort will be completed and sold to a world-class hotel and casino operator,” Mr Christie said from the Cabinet room, flanked by members of his Cabinet and others.
“Just after five o’clock this afternoon, the Supreme Court of the Bahamas approved these arrangements.”
He added: “Under the heads of terms signed today by the government and the bank, the remobilisation of Baha Mar will commence immediately. Construction at the site is expected to resume in a few weeks during the month of September.”
For Bahamian contractors who are still owed money for their work at the resort, the prime minister said: “Under this agreement made today, funds will be made available to enable them to receive a significant part, and possibly all, of the value of their claims.”
He also said thousands of former Baha Mar employees will receive outstanding amounts due to them: unpaid salaries, severance pay, accrued vacation pay and notice of payment due to termination.
For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Tribune.