The Chinese construction company building the $3.5bn Baha Mar casino resort in the Bahamas is seeking to dismiss bankruptcy proceedings against the unfinished project. China Construction America (CCA) told a US Bankruptcy Judge on Monday that it would file a motion against the bankruptcy proceedings filed by Baha Mar Ltd.
Led by developer Sarkis Izmirlian, Baha Mar Ltd filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a US Delaware court last month due to the resort’s failed opening in March resulting in financial issues. Baha Mar blamed CCA for the construction delays and also took legal action against CCA’s parent company, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, in a UK court.
Further complicating the matter, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie announced last Thursday that he wants to have the hearing handled locally, saying completion of the resort would otherwise face further delays and uncertainty. He said that he wants a neutral party “to prepare a strategic and workable roadmap for completion and opening of the resort.”
“There should be a Bahamian solution to this Bahamian issue and majority of the key parties in this matter recognise and support that position,” said Christie last week. “Were the process to continue in the US, the fate of this project, its Bahamian employees and the international reputation of the sovereign nation of the Bahamas would be in jeopardy.”
The Bahamian and Delaware courts are working to negotiate a global resolution that would permit completion of the project. According to court papers, the project is 97pc complete but CCA has refused to do any more work until it gets paid $72.6m it claims to be owed from the developer. Baha Mar is in talks with Chinese financiers to resume the project.