July 22, 2015 (NASSAU, The Bahamas) – We welcome today’s decision by The Bahamas Supreme Court to deny Baha Mar’s application for recognition of its American Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of June 29, 2015.
In doing so, the Supreme Court vindicated the Government’s position, indicating it will provide the detailed reasoning for its ruling within 14 days.
Our Government has argued firmly that a Bahamian Court, supervising the work of an independent liquidator, is best suited to oversee the restructuring, completion and opening of the resort should Baha Mar, China Construction and Exim Bank be unable to reach an out of court agreement.
Our objectives continue to be the prompt completion and successful opening of the Baha Mar project. We are confident today’s decision will encourage all parties to focus on these goals. It is a matter of the greatest national importance for the resort to open as soon as possible, under private ownership and operation.
In that spirit, we endorsed yesterday Baha Mar, China Construction and Exim Bank’s continued efforts to secure an out of court agreement to complete and open the resort. The best way to guarantee the jobs of Baha Mar employees is to achieve a timely negotiated agreement, and we urge all parties to do so.
Until such time, however, we must continue to protect all Bahamians’ interests.
The Supreme Court’s decision sets the stage for a provisional liquidator to be appointed by the Court on July 31, 2015, should no agreement be reached between the parties. The provisional liquidator would be lawfully bound to have regard to the best interests of the Bahamian people, Baha Mar employees, Bahamian contractors, creditors, and investors in Baha Mar.
In the meantime, we encourage all parties to continue negotiations to secure an agreement on the completion and opening of Baha Mar. Along with Exim Bank, we are keen observers of the negotiations now underway between Baha Mar and China Construction.
Should Baha Mar and China Construction agree, they will then negotiate with Exim Bank the financial terms required to support their agreement. The Government of The Bahamas will also be an observer in these negotiations.
Once financial terms are agreed, we anticipate that all-party talks – in which our Government will be an active participant – can reconvene, leading to the resumption, completion and opening of the Baha Mar development. This is our sole intention.