Sarkis Izmirlian is an amazing individual. He is the chief executive officer of the failing Baha Mar project. He has been unable to lead the grand business venture to a satisfactory conclusion, some 13 years down the road since Baha Mar began operating on the West Bay Strip in New Providence.
Under his watch, opening deadlines stretching back to 2011 have been missed.
It is understood that the major step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an American court jurisdiction (Delaware) was done without its national partner, this country, and Baha Marâ s major lender, Export-Import Bank of China, being advised officially.
If this is in fact the case, and thus far, Izmirlian has not said anything in denial, then The Bahamas and the Export-Import Bank of China have been treated most disrespectfully. Clearly, Izmirlian and his Baha Mar associates are looking more like business adversaries rather than partners.
The Izmirlian-led group seems to want to have everything to go their own way. They need to know that no longer is it â business as usual.â The relationship has become sour and the Government of The Bahamas must now step in and do what is best for the Bahamian people, particularly the Bahamian workers attached to Baha Mar and the other hundreds connected through contracts etc.
There are those who disagree with the government taking the position of coming up with $7.5 million to pay Bahamian workers at Baha Mar for the next month. When the government made a similar decision in favor of Princess workers here in Grand Bahama some years ago, there were opposing views.
A central administration lives between a rock and a hard place when it comes to national issues. Never will everybody be pleased. So, we encourage the government to step out and be cognizant of what Izmirlian and his Baha Mar collegues are capable of. Prime Minister Christie has gone public with the comment of not being notified about the application for bankruptcy.
We donâ t believe he has lied. He canâ t afford to lie. If he has and it is found out beyond a doubt, then he can kiss his prime minister post goodbye. It would indeed be just a matter of time.
No, we donâ t think he has lied. We are inclined to believe also that the Export-Import Bank of China has received like treatment from Baha Mar.
The Bahamas Supreme Court has stalled the bankruptcy proceeding, requesting the opportunity to hear more arguments. The decision demonstrates to Izmirlian that his companyâ s strategy will not just be eased through the Bahamian court system.
The government should take tough positions. All of the concessions given Baha Mar, amounting in dollar worth in the billions, ought to be revisited. It is beginning to look more and more that Izmirlian/Baha Mar cannot be considered a friendly business partner of the Bahamian people.
Thus, Izmirlian needs to understand that going forward it will no longer be business as usual.