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Baha Mar Casino Gets New Agreement To Resume Work

Baha Mar ResortThe troubled Baha-Mar integrated casino resort in the Bahamas will finally see progress now that a new agreement has been reached between the Bahamian Government and the secured creditor for the project, the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM).

Under the terms of the new agreement, construction work on the stalled casino project will commence in early September and once the project is completed, the resort will then sold to a top hotel and casino operator. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Perry Christie made the announcement earlier this week, saying the agreement has been approved by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas.

In a statement, Perry Christie said

This agreement represents a signal achievement for The Bahamas, and a milestone in the troubled history of Baha Mar

Baha Mar

Prime Minister Christie said that he had been working relentlessly for the past 20 months to resolve the issue which has had a big impact on the country. He said that the full details of the agreement will be released shortly.

Development of the $3.5 billion Baha-Mar came to a halt last year after developer Sarkis Izmirlian’s company, the Baha Mar Ltd filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court.

The Bahamian government subsequently put the project under liquidation and tried to deal directly with the Chinese investors who were financing the project.

Christie said that there were three main issues that he wanted to address to ensure that the welfare of the Bahamas was protected. The first objective was the immediate resumption of construction work the Baha Mar casino, the second was to ensure that the casino, the casino hotel and the convention centre and hotel along with the golf course would open before 2017 and finally to ensure that an arrangement was in place so that Bahamian creditors and contractors would be paid and not suffer any losses. He said that all three objectives were covered in the agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, construction will recommence over the next few weeks with the Exim Bank promising to fund the residual construction costs. The contracted builder China Construction will finish the construction and clear all pending dues with sub-contractors and other suppliers. Christie highlighted that several Bahamian creditors who had millions tied up with the project will now be able to recover at least part of their monies which would have been otherwise lost under the Chapter 11 proceedings.

Christie said that the agreement would ensure that thousands of former Bahamian employees would be paid all outstanding amounts including unpaid salaries, severance pay, notice payments and accrued vacation pay as well as salary deductions.


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