Plp Eyed Stake In Gb Port Authority

PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

FORMER ministers in the Christie administration said they privately pushed the Hayward and St George families to sell their interests in the Grand Bahama Port Authority, though it was never an option for the government to obtain a majority stake in the port.

Instead, according to Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis, the belief was that some equity participation by the government in the GBPA was feasible if necessary.  

With the Minnis administration’s move to buy the Grand Lucayan resort expected to be a costly endeavour, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said last week the government should buy the Grand Bahama Port Authority instead.

During discussions with the Christie administration, Sarah St George, vice chairman of the GBPA, represented the Hayward and St George families and dealt with possible purchasers like the Mediterranean Shipping Company, which initiated negotiations.

“There was a realisation that you probably needed new ownership to take it to a new level because of what happened post Edward St George and Albert Miller,” one former Christie administration figure who did not want to be named said yesterday.

“Jack Hayward never was the operational leader but it so happens that all three of them are now gone and so the question was can the children carry it on and lots of people in Grand Bahama we consulted didn’t think so. There was a view that it would help Grand Bahama if in fact the assets were sold.”

Ultimately, suitable buyers could not be found, Mr Davis said.

“You have to have a willing buyer,” he said.

“I don’t rule out equity participation by the government in it but my preference would be for the right sort of investment group to step up that has a vision that would align with that of the people of Grand Bahama and the Bahamas government. We did not rule out equity participation but just like if you buy the hotel and you have to put all these things in place, you have to consider what economic model you will build Grand Bahama on having regard to everything that has taken place so far.”

He added: “For quite awhile during our term discussions were being held with the Hayward and St George family to divest themselves of their interest and there were discussions being held to have the Hutchinson Whampoa divest themselves of certain of their interest as well. At the end of the day we wanted for new owners to deal with the hotel, the Grand Bahama Development Company and the airports and the aim was to leave Hutchinson Whampoa with their core business, that being their container port and the expansion of it. We were brokering, trying to get people to buy it.”


TheMadHatter 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe the finders fees were too high? LOL.

It was the right idea though, and still is, cause with regard to the Chinese we gotta chase them crazy ballheads outta town.

At this moment though with limited funds, buying the hotel is the best move simply because it costs a whole lot less. Minnis is on the right path.


SP 1 year, 6 months ago

No doubt another decision Christie was too busy dancing about the place and playing Fu Manchu to make...LOL


sucteeth 1 year, 6 months ago

The government can't run a straw market never mind a hotel and major renovations. This will be a disaster so many hands in the cookie jar. What the government needs to do is restrict Hutchinson from any expansion and charge them property taxes until they either re open the hotels or reduce price for another sale. Maybe get them to hold the mortgage as well so if the government defaults they can go and renegotiate just like Hutchinson has done.

We need to get the Hayward and St George families out of the port ownership completely. They have used this vehicle for their gain and not reinvested anything it is a crumbling organization with no true leadership or goals. RIP GBPA..


joeblow 1 year, 6 months ago

The PLP couldn't put VAT in a separate account to pay down the national debt as promised, but they want to run a group of companies?


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

You wouldn't want to know what Minnis and his merry band of bandits are now doing with our increased VAT dollars.


The_Oracle 1 year, 6 months ago

I understand every time a buyer gets within inches of buying it, the game changes and it is attempted to "convert" them into Partners. (aka don't worry your money is safe with us) seems quite a few have walked on that point which says a lot.


sealice 1 year, 6 months ago

Why can't our Gov't grow some bloody stones and just take the dam thing and eventually pay it off at the "accepted" price...


DWW 1 year, 6 months ago

I would argue that the port has zero value. Gov't should take it. I would further argue the hotel is a liability not an asset.


The_Oracle 1 year, 6 months ago

That the port has no book value is a given, given that the assets were stripped. Half sold off for profit, the remainder pillaged for cash. Government stood by and one P.M. facilitated it. It is gonna get real soon.


Alex_Charles 1 year, 6 months ago

Nationalize the port and take for it to be sold again to private holders (with BAHAMIANS able to buy shares). If that's too radical then amend the constitution and make the hawksbill creek agreement unconstitutional and redraft another agreement with similar specifics and once again sell it to private holders. The government can't run a a clinic, post office, straw market or even collect rent from under the old bridge. Government is HORRIBLE at running just about everything, including the country.


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