China’s Fosun Group isn’t buyer of $3.5b Baha Mar, say receivers

baha-mar-buyer-fosun-groupConstruction on the unfinished $3.5b Baha Mar resort casino will resume early next month, according to the Bahamas deputy prime minister.

On Thursday, Deputy PM Philip Davis announced that Baha Mar’s primary contractor, China Construction America (CCA), would resume work on the Baha Mar property within the next two weeks. The property was said to be 97% complete when its original developer filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2015.

In other good news, last week brought word that two major hoteliers had recommitted to the Baha Mar project. Ministry of Tourism director general Joy Jibrilu happily announced that Hyatt and SBE Entertainment Group were once again on board with running Baha Mar’s Grand Hyatt and SLS hotels, respectively.

Jibrilu also said talks were ongoing with Rosewood Hotels and Resorts International, which backed out of its Baha Mar commitments in August 2015, saying its brand was being “diminished and tarnished each day as a result of its association with Baha Mar.”

The positive developments follow last month’s announcement that Baha Mar’s main creditor, the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM), had reached a deal with an unidentified buyer to take over the project. While still officially a mystery, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie recently described Baha Mar’s buyer as a “multi-faceted” conglomerate.

Christie’s comments gave weight to growing rumors that the buyer is the Fosun Group, a Chinese conglomerate that owns everything from mining, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, as well as the Club Med tourism business and the Wolverhampton Wanderers football club.

These rumors have grown so loud that Baha Mar’s receivers issued a denial on Monday, saying that while Fosun was “part of the process” of Baha Mar’s auction, it was not the eventual buyer. But the Bahamas Tribune’s sources insist that Fosun is “almost certainly the buyer.”