Chinese Firm Slams Back At Baha Mar Developer

Baha Mar, which was supposed to be the biggest Caribbean resort, has filed for bankruptcy.
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Baha Mar, which was supposed to be the biggest Caribbean resort, has filed for bankruptcy.

News Americas, NASSAU, Bahamas, Weds. July 9, 2015: China Construction America, the Chinese construction company building accused of causing the $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort project in the Bahamas – the biggest in the Caribbean – to go into bankruptcy, is speaking out.

China Construction America (CCA) says it is developer Baha Mar Ltd, run by Sarkis Izmirlian, the son of an Armenian billionaire, and not them who mismanaged the project’s design and failed to secure adequate financing.

CCA, in a statement Tuesday, said the mismanagement included “replacing the principal architect after construction had commenced, the late and incomplete delivery of design packages and over 1,300 Construction Change Directives.”

“Baha Mar Ltd.’s recent public attempt to shift responsibility away from itself and blame CCA Bahamas and our subcontractors for the delays in the project’s completion is misleading and dishonest,” the company said. “It is insulting to the many talented and hardworking employees and subcontractors that work for CCA Bahamas and harms the interests of the people and government of the Bahamas that are represented by this landmark project.”

Baha Mar Ltd. last week filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

CCA called the decision a move “misplaced and calculated to benefit the project’s developer over the interests of the Bahamas and its people.” Since February, CCA and its subcontractors have performed nearly $72 million worth of work without being paid, CCA said in its statement.

Baha Mar Ltd recently told a bankruptcy judge the project is 97 percent complete.

Baha Mar was originally scheduled to open in December. That deadline was missed, as was an end-of-March deadline. The second delay proved “devastating” to Baha Mar Ltd, which had hired more than 2,000 hotel and casino workers to staff the opening, the developer said in its court filing.

China Construction America (CCA) is the North American and South American subsidiary of CSCEC. CSCEC is a public company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a total market capitalization of $48 billion as of June 2015.

CCA has retained Island Capital Group, a private real estate merchant bank, led by Andrew L. Farkas, as its exclusive restructuring and financial advisor in relation to the Baha Mar project and the law firms of Shearman & Sterling LLP; Peckar & Abramson; Squire Patton Boggs in the United States and McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes in Nassau, Bahamas to represent it in connection with all of its affairs in the pending U.S. bankruptcy proceedings and in the Bahamas. USA, LLC