Judge Denies Baha Mar Resort's Request for U.S. Bankruptcy Filing to Be Recognized in Bahamas
A Bahamian Supreme Court judge has denied a request by Baha Mar Ltd. -- developer of the unfinished mega resort on Nassau's Cable Beach -- to have its U.S. bankruptcy filing recognized in the Bahamas. Last month, Baha Mar Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. The decision effectively prevents the developer from protecting its assets from creditors.
In a statement released yesterday, Baha Mar Ltd. said it was disappointed in the judge's decision. "We are even more disappointed in the way the government has responded to our Chapter 11 filing over the past several weeks," stated Baha Mar Ltd. "We hope the government will stand by its word to be an impartial mediator in our efforts to protect our investment and bring the project to completion."
Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, in a separate statement on Wednesday, praised the court's decision, arguing that it would help expedite the completion of the project. Last last week, Christie said the government would seek to put the resort under government control and force the developer out of the $3.5 billion project, following reports that talks between the developer and its lender had broken down -- a claim the developer has denied.
Baha Mar broke ground in Nassau's Cable Beach area in February 2011. The five-hotel project originally had been scheduled to open to the public by the end of 2014, with the 1,000-room Baha Mar Casino Resort & Hotel, 707-room Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, 300-room SLS Lux and 200-room Rosewood at Baha Mar. The project's fifth hotel and only pre-existing property is the 726-room Melia Nassau Beach.