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Developer of Baha Mar resort in Bahamas files for bankruptcy

The developer of the $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas filed for bankruptcy in the United States on Monday and blamed its Chinese general contractor for missing its completion deadline, costing critical revenue.

The resort, which has delayed its opening that was scheduled for last year, features several hotels, gambling, convention space, a golf course and more than 40 restaurants and bars.

The bankruptcy filing will allow Baha Mar Ltd. to borrow up to $80 million, with approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

“The general contractor repeatedly has missed construction deadlines,” said a statement from Sarkis Izmirlian, the developer’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Unable to open, the resort has been left without a sufficient source of revenue to continue our existing business.”

In court documents, the company included board minutes that showed the directors discussed “possibly imminent proceedings” against China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd., the parent of the general contractor China Construction America Inc or CCA.

The largest creditor of Baha Mar was CCA Bahamas Ltd., which was owed $72 million for construction work, according to court documents. CCA Bahamas Ltd could not be contacted for a comment. Bloomberg reported that Bally Technologies of Las Vegas is owed more than $1 million in trade debt. In March, IGT signed a deal to provide games to half of the casino’s slot machine floor.

The massive complex was being developed a few miles from the 171-acre Atlantis resort that was developed by South African hotelier Sol Kerzner. A Brookfield Asset Management fund took control of Atlantis in a 2012 debt restructuring.

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