Bahamas Government seeks to “Wind Up” Baha Mar

Nassau, The Bahamas – July 20,2015 – (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) The government of The Bahamas has filed a winding up petition against Baha Mar on the grounds that it is owed more than $58 million by the developer.

According to a report by the Tribune, STATE Minister for Legal Affairs Damien Gomez has dismissed Baha Mar’s recent accusations against Prime Minister Perry Christie, stating that the “door was closing” on developer Sarkis Izmirlian’s opportunity to strike a deal that would allow him to stay on at the helm of the $3.5bn mega resort.

“We’re moving forward to secure a liquidator,” he told The Tribune in a recent interview, “once that’s done, it’s in his interest to strike a deal as soon as possible otherwise creditors will take over and the restructuring will not be to his liking.”

According to the Government filing Baha Mar owes the Government in excess of $58M in back taxes, fees and utilities.

Although the “Baha Mar” project consists of 4 newly, almost, built hotels – The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, Grand Hyatt, SLS Lux and the Rosewood, the original property consisted of The Nassau Beach Hotel, The Wyndham Resort & Crystal Palace Casino and The Sheraton Cable Beach. Soon after Sarkis Izmirlian purchased the Cable Beach hotels, the Nassau Beach Hotel was closed. In November 2013 Sheraton gave up management of its’ hotel and was replaced by Melia. In May of 2014 Wyndham gave up management of it’s hotel and the property converted into a Baha Mar operated property, which has subsequently closed.

Currently the Melia Nassau Beach is the only Baha Mar property which is operating.

The main items of the Governments list of outstanding items are as follows. A lot of these amounts are in respect to the closed properties.

Wyndham Business Licenses $289,854.94
Property Taxes owed (approximately) $3,300,000.00
Outstanding Work Permit Fees $166,169.47
Gaming Board Taxes (possibly deferred) $11,200,000.00
Bahamas Electric $26,329,953.85
Ministry of Tourism – Room Tax $2,600,000.00
Water and Sewerage $3,000,000.00
National insurance Board $697,446.20

According to the Government filing, “base on current information, the respondents do not have sufficient funding to compensate employees.”

“Compensation payments can only be made if the respondents are able to secure additional funding.

“…In all of the circumstances, it is clear that the respondents are insolvent and are unable to pay their debts as they fall due.”

The petition says it is “just and equitable” that Baha Mar should be wound up.

Share Button
About the Author