After losing a major battle in its bankruptcy case
, Baha Mar Ltd., developer of the unfinished Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas, continues to butt heads publicly with China Construction America (CCA), the resort's chief contractor.
The bankruptcy blow came last week, when a judge in the Bahamas declined to recognize Baha Mar Ltd.'s U.S. bankruptcy filing. The decision means the developer could be unable to protect its assets from creditors, despite a stay granted by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
"We respect [the judge's] ruling and look forward to understanding his reasoning, but we are nonetheless disappointed by the result," Baha Mar Ltd. said in a statement
issued after the ruling. "We are even more disappointed in the way the government has responded to our Chapter 11 filing over the past several weeks. 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. We do not believe today's ruling, for which the government strenuously argued, assures the necessary protection of the assets of Baha Mar, and we do not believe that it is best for the over 2,500 current employees of Baha Mar."
The developer noted its continued desire to finish work
on the resort, and to strike a deal with CCA that would allow it to do so. However, the two parties continue to publicly blame and shame one another, casting doubts on the potential for resolution.
"[Baha Mar Ltd.] is bankrupt because it repeatedly made mistakes in the development of Baha Mar. Their attempts to place blame on CCA Bahamas are self-serving explanations to deflect attention from their own negligence and mismanagement of the resort's development," CCA said in a statement
issued today. "However, despite their serial missteps and purposeful avoidance of its contractual payment obligations, we are once again offering to provide financial assistance to help save Baha Mar and create thousands of jobs for the Bahamian people."
To help it finish the resort, CCA has offered to invest an additional $100 million in Baha Mar Ltd. and to provide a guarantee of $175 million to China Exim Bank, the project's lender, to secure a new $200 million loan. In return it has requested a matching guarantee from Baha Mar Ltd., but said the company has "categorically rejected" its request.
"CCA Bahamas' expertise and historical oversight of the Baha Mar project is essential to successfully completing the resort as quickly as possible, and putting Bahamians back to work," CCA continued. "While [Baha Mar Ltd.] continues to be unwilling to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, our commitment to supporting the Bahamian government and the people of the Bahamas has not waned. We will continue to work closely with any and all appropriate parties to reach a viable plan in order to expeditiously open this landmark resort."
Baha Mar Ltd., which has proposed finishing the resort with Bahamanian contractors instead of CCA, has issued a statement
of its own in response to CCA's allegations: "It is interesting that when a very viable proposal is put forward by Baha Mar Ltd. to the Export-Import Bank of China -- a proposal which … would utilize Bahamian contractors and a Bahamian workforce to properly finish the work at Baha Mar that CCA failed to do -- CCA issues a highly defensive and apparently panicky press release. CCA should be concerned. No matter how CCA tries to spin it and no matter how often it tries to deflect from its lack of responsibility, it cannot cover up the sad pattern of its failing to perform properly at Baha Mar and other important projects."Check out the all-new MeetingNews Minute, featuring exclusive research on industry trends!