CCA Bahamas, the China-owned general contractor of the unfinished Baha Mar Resort, has offered to increase its investment in the project, while criticizing the developer for its management and recent negotiating tactics, according to Travel Weekly, M&C's sister publication. CCA Bahamas, a unit of China State Construction Engineering Corp., said it already has invested $150 million in the $3.5 billion project and has offered to fund another $100 million.
Baha Mar Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. in June, then sued CCA Bahamas in a U.K. court. Last week, a Bahamas Supreme Court judge ruled that the Bahamas didn't have to recognize the developer's U.S. bankruptcy filing, effectively preventing the developer from protecting its assets from creditors. In announcing its offer, CCA Bahamas also accused Baha Mar Ltd. of mismanagement and said it was owed $142 million in late construction payments and outstanding construction change orders.
In a statement, Baha Mar Ltd. refuted the claim, calling the contractor's offer "not a viable proposal on its part, but rather a distortion of an old posture that made discussions to negotiate a consensual resolution with it as one of the parties a sham." Baha Mar Ltd. also said that it put forth a viable proposal to the Export-Import Bank of China that "provides for a significant equity infusion by the Izmirlian family [the developer] to complete and open Baha Mar, and would utilize Bahamian contractors and a Bahamian workforce to properly finish the work at Baha Mar that CCA failed to do." Earlier this month, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government would seek to have the Bahamas Supreme Court, through an independent third-party liquidator, supervise and control the restructuring of the resort and force the developer out of the project.
Ground was broken on Baha Mar 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.