Sinckler announces Four Seasons deal
Construction on the controversial Four Seasons project could be restarted in the coming months.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced Tuesday evening that he recently signed an agreement for the sale of the beachfront property and he expected part of the payment within two weeks’ time.
“I can alert the House that I have formally signed the agreement on behalf of the Government for the sale of the Four Seasons project to the preferred investors. I did that a few days ago, and very shortly we will be having a debate in this House to discuss the details of everything that has gone under, including what is in that particular document,” Sinckler announced as he delivered the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals in Parliament this evening.
The minister did not reveal the identity of the buyer.
The project, which critics said closed mainly due to the financing model, ground to a halt in February 2009, leaving hundreds of workers on the breadline.
In December of that year the then David Thompson-led Government announced that it would provide a guarantee to enable a commercial bank to provide bridging loan that would facilitate a longer-term restructuring of the project finances.
The loan was provided by Ansa Merchant Bank in June 2010 and extended to 2013.
Meanwhile, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as part of the efforts to find longer-term finance, in 2012 agreed to a 15-year US$80 million loan to the project, which had some 300 creditors, the majority of whom were Barbadian businesses.
The conditions of that loan changed from an addition US$20 million of equity with mezzanine financing to be provided by the NIS, to a further US$40 million of equity. However, this final condition could not be met.
Shortly after, the IDB withdrew its loan offer, at which point Government exercised its rights under the guarantee of the medium-term loan to pursue alternative plans.