Baha Mar ownership confirmed, William Hill sportsbook launches


baha-mar-ownership-resolvedThe unresolved ownership question hanging over the troubled $4.2b Baha Mar integrated resort appears to have finally reached a satisfactory conclusion.

On Tuesday, the Bahamas Tribune reported that the Bahamas subsidiary of Hong Kong conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) had indeed officially closed its purchase of Baha Mar from the property’s main creditor, China Export-Import Bank (EXIM), by the stipuulated December 1 deadline.

CTFE was identified as Baha Mar’s buyer back in April, following EXIM’s takeover of the bankrupt property from its original developer Sarkis Izmirlian. But the sale was conditional on a number of factors, including the unfinished property’s main contractor, China Construction America (CCA), achieving “substantial completion” of the project by October 15.

With CCA warning this summer that it was already behind schedule, the CTFE sale appeared anything but a certainty. Moreover, the sale agreement stipulated that the deal needed to be concluded by December 1 or else the Bahamian government was entitled to rescind the generous (some say overly so) tax breaks and incentives it promised to Baha Mar’s new owners.

While none of the principal parties involved in this complicated dance have yet to publicly comment on Baha Mar’s ownership status, the Tribune said it had received confirmation that the sale had indeed gone through.

After a soft opening in April, Baha Mar held its official grand opening last month, accompanied by the debut of the property’s first official marketing campaign. November also saw Baha Mar celebrate the opening of its SLS Baha Mar hotel, the second of three planned hotels, with the Rosewood Baha Mar to follow this spring.

Tuesday also brought word that the US division of UK bookmaker William Hill had officially launched a sportsbook at Baha Mar’s casino. The new sportsbook joins the property’s other gaming options, including over 1,100 slot machines and 119 live gaming tables.