Tuesday, a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware ruled that most of the multi-billion dollar Baha Mar chapter 11 bankruptcy filing before it would not be heard in a U.S. court and dismissed all but one entity’s ability to seek reorganization here.
Judge Kevin Carey presiding over the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., said the Bahamian government had deep economic interests in the case and partially relied on a Bahamas Supreme Court finding from earlier this year that found that stakeholders in the troubled resort could reasonably expect proceedings to take place in the Bahamas.
The judge allowed one case to continue, that of Florida incorporated Northshore Mainland Services Inc. The U.S. company was not included in a list of entities under the authority of Provisional Liquidators appointed by the Bahamas Supreme Court last week.
The judge expressed disappointment that no consensual resolution to the case seemed likely between the parties and intimated that he may have been inclined to preside over the proceedings if there were more likelihood of it. The fledgling resort, now 9 months behind schedule, blames contractors and financiers, while the contractor says they refuse to work without further pay and claim to be owed about $72 million. State-owned Export Import Bank of China (EXIM) has provided some $2.5 billion to the project so far.
Prime Minister Perry Christie updated the island nation on developments in an address to the House of Assembly on Wednesday saying, “The government is pleased that the Bankruptcy court in Delaware shared the government’s view that the future of the Baha Mar resort should be determined not in, or by a court in Delaware but rather here in The Bahamas, by our own supreme court, especially now that the court here has appointed provisional liquidators.”
He went on to say that the completion and opening of the resort was a matter of the highest national priority.