The sale of US$4.2 billion Bahamas IR Baha Mar to Hong Kong-listed casino investor Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) is almost complete, with only some minor details yet to be finalized according to Attorney-General Carl Bethel.
Speaking to local media outlet The Tribune last week as the casino resort opened its SLS Baha Mar hotel, Bethel said that matters were now in the hands of lawyers but that, “There are only some things that need to be done.
“They (CTFE) have to complete their own land transfers and some have to be completed with the government. There is still a legal process that has to be completed elsewhere.
“It’s a matter of the liquidation being cleared away but the hotel properties and all transfers in terms of the heads of terms and heads of agreements are complete. These are all in the hands of the lawyers,” he said.
The sale of Baha Mar to CTFE has been far from smooth, with original developer Sarkis Izmirlian – who was controversially ousted amid major construction delays – calling for the government to impose a moratorium on the sale of the resort.
The Tribune also reported that Izmirlian has since written to the current Minnis administration calling for an investigation into the issuance of a casino license to CTFE by the previous Christie government.
Nevertheless, the sale has continued to progress.
News of the deal – which was first announced last December – finally nearing completion coincided with the official launch ceremony of SLS Baha Mar, a 299-room hotel featuring three bars and restaurants plus a nightclub.
Speaking at the hotel opening, Baha Mar President Graeme Davis said, “The opening of SLS Baha Mar today signifies the official completion of phase II and the progress we are making towards our grand opening in 2018 as well as the dedicated commitments we made to our guests and the Bahamian people to offer a true luxury of choice in accommodations and experiences at Baha Mar.
“We extend the warmest welcome to our newest 300 employees and look forward to introducing guests to the stunning SLS Baha Mar.”
SLS General Manager Richard Alexander revealed that the top two levels of the hotel were still undergoing final fit-outs and would not be ready until Christmas.
Another hotel, Rosewood, is aiming to open by early-2018.