By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHA MAR’S original developer, BMD Holdings, joined the Free National Movement and others yesterday in criticising Prime Minister Perry Christie’s Monday announcement about Baha Mar for lacking specifics.
In a statement yesterday, Sarkis Izmirlian’s company said: “…The prime minister’s comments this week regarding the future of Baha Mar leave the Bahamian people without any specifics about a definitive buyer, the price that
China Export-Import Bank is contemplating for the resort and any definitive guarantees that any unsecured creditors will receive any of the monies they are owed.
“We call on the government of the Bahamas and CEXIM to reveal the specifics of any completed transaction and provide in detail how unsecured creditors would benefit from this purported transaction.”
Mr Izmirlian has been at war with the government throughout the resort’s ordeal, first by initiating Chapter 11 proceedings in the United States without the government’s knowledge and later by trying to halt the Supreme Court approved sales process for the resort.
In fact, Wayne Munroe, QC, argued yesterday that it is important to seal court documents related to Baha Mar to prevent the original developer from jeopardising the agreement.
Mr Izmirlian’s company said yesterday: “Of particular interest is both the scheme that has been concocted between CCA and CEXIM and the source of such payments, when unsecured creditors who completed the work they were contracted to complete have yet to be paid or guaranteed payment.
“Despite the fact that CCA deceived the prime minister and the whole of the Bahamas over a year ago regarding its guaranteed completion of Baha Mar, they are permitted, and will be paid, to return to the project.
“Among other reasons, this further shows cause behind our motion to move Baha Mar to full liquidation under which all parties owed money have a better opportunity or representation in order to protect their rights and bring Baha mar to a more constructive solution to the benefit of all Bahamians.”
BMD Holdings reiterated its view that it is “ready, willing and able to move forward to complete Baha Mar.”
“We call on the government of the Bahamas and CEXIM to meet with us to bring the project to completion in a forthright manner deserving of the Bahamas.”
During a nationally televised address on Monday night, Mr Christie said a deal had been reached between the government and the EXIM Bank to remobilise the stalled resort.
He said work was to begin in September with the resort expected to open before the end of the 2016/2017 winter season.
Under the terms of the agreement announced by Mr Christie, Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China has committed to fund all remaining construction costs to complete the project.
Additionally, China Construction America (CCA) would resume and complete construction, and then sell the property to a “world-class hotel and casino operator.”
Moreover, Bahamian contractors still owed money will receive a significant part, if not all, of their claims, while thousands of former Baha Mar employees will receive outstanding amounts due to them.
However, Mr Christie stopped short of naming the operator tapped to buy the resort once completed.