October 27, 2020

Buyer revealed for Bahamas megaresort

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By K. Quincy Parker 
Nassau Guardian Business Editor From Caribbean News Now

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Office of the Prime Minister () has confirmed that the new owner of the financially troubled multi-billion dollar Baha Mar resort in The Bahamas is Perfect Luck Holdings Limited.

However, the identities of the owners of that company remain shrouded in secrecy.

The Christie administration has up to now kept mum about the status of Perfect Luck as anything other than the purchaser of the debt the bankrupt owed its employees and contractors. However, the OPM said in a statement on Monday, “The assets of Baha Mar have been acquired by Perfect Luck Holdings Limited.

“The sale followed a lengthy marketing process by the receivers, and that process and the resulting sale of the assets to Perfect Luck were overseen and approved by the Bahamas Supreme Court.”

Initial investigations by Guardian Business reveal only that a company named “Perfect Luck Holdings Limited” was registered in Hong Kong on March 29, 2014, with corporate number 2072340. The company was marked “live” in Hong Kong corporate registries up to July 2016.

Letter

Baha Mar’s original developer last week published a letter he sent to vice chairman and president Liu Liange of the China Export-Import () Bank and copied to Prime Minister Perry Christie.

In that letter, he offered to beat any price being considered for the sale of Baha Mar, and appeared to criticize the arrangement between CEXIM Bank and the government that resulted in what appeared at the time to be the sale of the obligations to Baha Mar employees and creditors.

In “consideration” for “concessions and permissions”, CEXIM Bank put up the money to create “Perfect Luck Company”, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that is paying the settlements overseen by the claims committee established to pay out Baha Mar employees and creditors.

The OPM statement contains no comment on the relationship between Perfect Luck Company and Perfect Luck Holdings Ltd.

Writing on the arrangement, Izmirlian said: “In essence, CEXIM has taken all the potential viable assets out, including the claim against CCA (China Construction America), and left behind all the obligations.

“It is our understanding that CEXIM then intends to complete the resort construction and proceed with a second transaction to sell the resort to an undisclosed Chinese party.”

Izmirlian also wrote that the rumoured Chinese party was found outside the Deloitte — the receivers appointed by the bank — sales process.

“This is very important and surprising,” Izmirlian said. “As you must be aware, we previously were advised on multiple occasions by your receivers that all offers were required to be tendered through the receivers’ process, and the multitude of bona fide offers we have made were not considered because of that. In fact, if our offers had been considered, it is very likely that Baha Mar would be open today, employing thousands of Bahamians.

“Since the potential acquisition of Baha Mar by an unidentified party via an offer outside the receivers’ process is now what CEXIM is entertaining, we hereby submit [our] offer, which we are confident is both far superior economically and in the best interest of The Bahamas.”

Statement

Charging that Izmirlian’s letter contained “some extraordinary statements”, the OPM said, “Now that the assets are owned by Perfect Luck, that company may sell the resort to whomever it wishes, subject to the proposed purchaser being acceptable to the government and other bodies performing their public function.”

The OPM challenged Izmirlian’s characterization of the sales process, stating, “At each stage of the process – which commenced when Baha Mar’s developer, Sarkis Izmirlian, without any prior notice, arranged for the Baha Mar companies to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the United States – Mr Izmirlian has had the opportunity to participate in discussions and the process surrounding the future of the resort.”

The statement also implicitly questioned Izmirlian’s ability to afford the claim he made in the letter.

“If, as he states, Mr Izmirlian is in a position to, and wishes to work with CEXIM to deliver Baha Mar for the Bahamian people, then he should engage seriously with Perfect Luck and its advisors. If he is in a position to make a credible proposal to acquire Baha Mar from Perfect Luck, then he is free to do so,” the statement said.

Assertion

The OPM concluded its statement by asserting that the project is back on track.

“… Remobilization has commenced, and through high level good faith negotiations, a substantial fund has been established by CEXIM for the payment of creditors’ claims and former Baha Mar Bahamian employees are already being paid.”

The statement asserted that the government will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Baha Mar is sold to a world class hotel and casino operator.

IMAGE: The Baha Mar resort

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Buyer-revealed-for-Bahamas-megaresort-32210.html

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