BHA, and Receiver Statements

Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:08 administrator
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With Regard to the Announcement Yesterday of the Closure of Four Seasons in Exuma, below is a statement from the BHA on the matter as well as the statement issued by Russell Downs, Joint Receiver, EBR Holding Limited.

"It is an unfortunate turn of events that has led Four Seasons to determine that they need to close their doors in Exuma. We are hopeful that the closure of the resort property will be short-lived and the impact on employees and businesses can be minimized. The facility is exceptional, the island of Great Exuma has strong appeal in the marketplace, and there is in place a well-trained workforce to support a quality guest experience. Four Seasons has been a committed corporate citizen and we have welcomed the support they have provided to the Bahamas Hotel Association and the overall tourism industry."

Bahamas Hotel Association

Receiver's update on status of Emerald Bay Development - 13 May 2009

The receivers of the Emerald Bay development (the "Project") announced some important developments today regarding the status of the receivership and sale process.

With the failure of an interested party to complete a contract, and losses in the Project rising still further, the receivers, having consulted with other stakeholders, have decided to close the Project on a temporary basis.
This is a decision which was very difficult for the receivers to make, and they look forward to a point in the future when the Project will reopen under new ownership and continue to contribute to the Exuma community.

The Hotel located within the Project is managed by Four Seasons. Four Seasons has agreed to an orderly closure of the Hotel to guests on 26 May with the majority of staff leaving within 30 days thereafter.

At this stage, there is neither a preferred bidder, signed letter of intent nor is the Project under contract with any party. It remains the stated intention for the secured creditor to realise its security in the Project.
The receivers will liaise with several interested parties who had previously expressed an interest in purchasing the Project.

The receivership of the entire Project began in June 2007 following the invitation by the Directors of EBR Holding Limited to the secured creditor to appoint receivers. The loan secured by all of the assets at the Project was in default and had been demanded for repayment. The Directors had formed the view that the EBR Holding Limited was unable to pay its debts as they fell due.

As noted at the outset of the receivership process, there had been considerable interest in the Project and in the first 14 months of the process, the receivers had signed a letter of intent with one party and was under formal contract with two other parties. None of those transactions were able to be concluded.

From September 2008, the signs of global slowdown became all too real and the Project which had been fully funded to that point began to sustain significant further losses. To that end the receivers took steps to curtail those losses to the extent possible, for example in the closing of the Marina operations, whilst trying to find a buyer for the Project as a whole.

No time indication can be given on how long it will be before a sale of the assets of the Project is concluded nor how long it will be before the Project reopens for business. A substantive announcement on the sale will be made at the appropriate time.

During the temporary closing period, critical amenities at the Project, such as the water plant operations will be unaffected and will continue as normal.

Russell Downs
Joint Receiver
EBR Holding Limited