Sarkis Izmirlian, CEO of Baha Mar Ltd., met last month with Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie and Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson in a last-ditch effort to preserve his ownership of the stalled .5 billion Baha Mar resort project and prevent the liquidation and takeover of the project by the Bahamas government.
Izmirlian, who came under fire for criticizing Christie’s government for its failure to help with the training of Bahamians for the project, sought to assure the government that he can resolve the issues surrounding his company and the main contractor of the project, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and its subsidiary China Construction America (CCA). The project halted after Izmirlian stopped paying the contractor, on the basis that CCA had repeatedly missed deadlines for completing the project.
The project is reportedly more than 90 percent complete, but a Bahamian government mission to China to resolve the issues ultimately failed, after which Christie initiated liquidation proceedings—and threatened to deport Izmirlian if he continued his media attacks on the government.
At October’s meeting, Izmirlian told Christie that he is committed to resolving outstanding issues and completing the resort. “Time is of the essence,” Izmirlian told the Bahamas Tribune. “A plan to resolve the issues and enable Baha Mar to move forward needs to happen now. I expressed to the prime minister my grave concerns about the liquidation of Baha Mar. I believe the prime minister fully understands the issues from my perspective, and what I am willing to do to help resolve them.”
Christie told the newspaper that the meeting was “excellent,” although he did not specifically say he will suspend liquidation proceedings.