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A resort reborn

The beautiful Baha Mar resort is reborn in The Bahamas, with the help of Charles Russell Speechlys team.

Background

Over several decades Charles Russell Speechlys has established a leading reputation in the Caribbean, having successfully represented a number of local governments as well as many local businesses, institutions and individuals.

Therefore, when the Government of The Bahamas faced substantial challenges in respect of a major project to develop a luxury resort, it approached Charles Russell Speechlys.

The project threatened to collapse when the developer of the $3+ billion Baha Mar “mega resort” filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the US.

Approach

With concerns over the viability of a US Chapter 11 procedure in this case, the Government wanted a local solution for the Bahamian development and our team formulated a rapid strategy for achieving the government’s goal.

Thousands of employees and local creditors had not been paid and the developer, contractor and lender were at an impasse. On behalf of the Government we assisted in challenging the recognition of the US Chapter 11 process in the Bahamian Court and in petitioning for the appointment of provisional liquidators to take control of the resort.

In the meantime, other key stakeholders sought the dismissal of the Chapter 11 process in the US. We acted for the Government in lengthy and complex negotiations with the Export-Import Bank of China (“CEXIM”), the contractor, CCA and prospective purchasers for the resort, which ultimately led to work on completing the resort being resumed.

Result

The completed $3+ billion Baha Mar resort includes a number of hotels, a golf course, convention centre and a casino resort in Nassau.

We are delighted that the resort had its grand opening in April 2017. Bahamian creditors have shared in a fund of $100m, which provided for the settlement of all claims of Bahamian creditors owed less than $500,000 in full, as well as significant provision for those owed more.

1500 new jobs have been created and a further 5,000 are expected over the coming year. A sale of the resort has been agreed with a world-class hotel and casino operator.

Baha Mar has now opened its doors to the public for the good of the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.


For more information please get in touch via roger.elford@crsblaw.com or +44 (0)1483 252531.

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