The Bahamas Supreme Court appointed a provisional liquidator to help oversee the stalled Baha Mar resort project, a move that developer Baha Mar Ltd. touted as a victory.

Baha Mar Ltd. said in a Sept. 4 statement that the liquidator’s limited authority — it was ordered to preserve the developer’s assets instead of finding an alternative plan to complete the project — will help Baha Mar finish the resort.

The court set a hearing date for the government’s potential “winding down,” or taking control of the site, in early November. Baha Mar Ltd. said this may be sufficient time to arrange for the project’s completion.

“The Bahamian Supreme Court has made it quite clear that the present intention is to not have Baha Mar liquidated or its management replaced,” Baha Mar Ltd. said in a statement. “In fact, the judge specifically wants to make sure that Baha Mar’s assets are preserved — which is a priority we all share.”

In a statement, CCA Bahamas said it "welcomes the ruling to appoint provisional liquidators, which marks an important step forward towards addressing the challenges relating to the completion and opening of the Baha Mar resort."

Baha Mar Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court in late June. The Bahamas government declined to recognize the filing, leaving the developer vulnerable to its creditors. The Bahamas Supreme Court subsequently sought to have Baha Mar Ltd. removed from the project and replaced by a third-party liquidator.

Baha Mar Ltd. last month proposed pushing out the resort’s general contractor and its largest creditor, China-owned CCA Bahamas, as part of a restructuring plan.

According to Baha Mar’s June bankruptcy filing, CCA Bahamas is owed more than $72 million for work performed since February.
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Clarification: The Bahamas Supreme Court, not the government, has said it wants to force out Baha Mar Ltd. in the event that an agreement can't be reached with the project’s lender and contractor, and find another developer to finish the project.

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