Chow Tai Fook Enterprises said Monday that it agreed to
acquire the long-delayed Baha Mar resort project in the Bahamas, and said the
first phase would open in April.
Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook will acquire Baha Mar from Perfect
Luck Assets, an affiliate of Export-Import Bank of China, the project's primary
lender. Perfect Luck took over ownership after Baha Mar fell into receivership.
Chow Tai Fook said Baha Mar's casino hotel, casino, convention
center and golf course would open in April. The company added that it was in
talks with Hyatt, SBE (parent of the SLS Hotels brand) and Rosewood for the
operation and branding of the Baha Mar's hotels. Chow Tai Fook is parent of
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.
In September, Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism, said SBE and Hyatt had recommitted to Baha Mar.
Chow Tai Fook said it would spend $200 million in
pre-opening activities as well as the redevelopment of the shuttered Crystal Palace
casino hotel site.
In addition to hospitality holdings, Chow Tai Fook owns businesses in
real estate, transportation and jewelry retail. The company's investments
include the $10 billion Greenwich Peninsula project in London and the $2.3
billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane resort project in Australia.
Chow Tai Fook's announcement follows up remarks earlier this
month from Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, who said Baha Mar's first
phase would open in the second quarter of 2017 and added that the project would
be completed by the end of next year.
Hyatt spokeswoman Carla Santiago confirmed to Travel Weekly
last week that the hotel operator was in "final discussions" to
operate the casino and convention hotels.