Sinckler breaks his silence on Hilton sale

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has broken his silence on the sale of Hilton Barbados Resort, saying Government was not selling the luxury resort “at any bargain basement price”.

Last month, the Nation newspaper published a front-page editorial in which it suggested that the recently refurbished hotel had been sold for US$80 million, US$20 million less than Sinckler’s stated price.

Since then the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has been calling on Government to reveal the full details and process for the sale of the Needham’s Point property, with Shadow Minister of Tourism Ronald Toppin suggesting to Parliament that the administration needed to be transparent with the transaction.

“The Government has previously indicated that it intends to sell the Barbados Hilton for US$100 million. What is the process informing this sale? Who is doing the independent valuations? Where is it being advertised for sale? We need to be told by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler before any further action is taken,” Toppin had said.

“The BLP would like to ensure that this hotel, one of the most valuable jewels in the Barbados economic crown since it was originally opened in 1966, is not sold at a cut-rate price like Blue Horizon Hotel appears to have been,” he added.

However, reacting to the suggestions that the property was being sold for much less than it was valued, Sinckler assured in a press release issued by the Barbados Government Information Service today that “when the full details of the sale agreement for the Hilton become known, the public will see that Government is in fact not selling the Hilton at any bargain basement price.

“The Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy and his team are doing a very good job of the process, which is transparent. The bids have been invited, they were analyzed, and Cabinet was advised on which bid seemed to have been the preferred one. However, all of the bids were included in the document, so Cabinet could see all of them,” he explained.

The minister noted that Cabinet had taken a decision to allow Sealy’s team to begin dialogue with the potential buyer.

“Those negotiations are in train, and have not yet been finalized, but I believe they will be concluded very soon and the public will be notified of it,” Sinckler said.

However, he stressed that the process relating to the sale had been followed, while pointing out that during negotiations there were confidentiality clauses and rules governing the process because major investors, whether domestic or foreign, did not negotiate in public.

In the meantime, Sinckler revealed that Cabinet has approved the Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan (BSRP), which is to be laid in Parliament shortly.

The embattled Minister of Finance, who has been under pressure to come up with workable solutions to the island’s economic problems, said there were just one or two consultative things that had to be done, but said there was general buy-in and sign-off by most, if not all, of the Social Partners.

“Everybody is not happy with everything that is there, but I think they are generally happy and the statements which are included in the document from the Social Partnership will indicate that. The charge now is to lay the document, have it discussed and debated in Parliament and publicly, and set about the process of implementation.

“I am extremely satisfied with the process and the final product,” he said.

Sinckler had promised in the 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals to begin the process for a BSRP, which is seen as an important roadmap which “addresses all issues in debt, financing, fiscal, state-owned entities reform, doing business and implementation”.

And following a meeting of the full Social Partnership last August, three working groups made up of public and private sector representatives were established to cover the thematic areas of Fiscal Reform, Growth and Sustainability, and Social Responsibility.

25 Responses to Sinckler breaks his silence on Hilton sale

  1. Troy Whitehall
    Troy Whitehall January 17, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    You all selling everything but day run till night catch it pack of wicked peoples and jokers

    Reply
  2. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole January 18, 2018 at 12:18 am

    “…The bids have been invited, they were analyzed, and Cabinet was advised on which bid seemed to have been the preferred one. However, all of the bids were included in the docume nt, so Cabinet could see all of them,”
    We are not that stupid. How can bids be analyzed when you have just invited persons to bid. It is one or the other. Perhaps the Minister is a liar. Or after the outcry a few weeks ago he sent out invitations to bid which did not follow the financial rules as they were not advertised in the press.

    Reply
    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba January 18, 2018 at 1:22 am

      WHA LOSS U SEE THAT TOO!!

      Reply
  3. Ryan Marshall
    Ryan Marshall January 18, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Lies and more lies

    Reply
  4. Roger Ifill
    Roger Ifill January 18, 2018 at 2:10 am

    What a dirty shame..

    Reply
  5. Sarah Amlot
    Sarah Amlot January 18, 2018 at 2:19 am

    And raw sewage all over Worthing and Hastings again!

    Reply
  6. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith January 18, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Went you stop tell lies

    Reply
  7. Adrian Loveridge January 18, 2018 at 5:01 am

    As transparent as the sale of Blue Horizon?

    Reply
    • Carson C. Cadogan January 18, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Why dot you but it and then tell the nation how much you paid for it???

      Reply
  8. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn January 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Twenty million gone in some body pocket. A lot of deals going on in Barbados. Time running out. Government soon change.

    Reply
  9. hcalndre January 18, 2018 at 8:41 am

    The owners of the Barbados Hilton seem to be Sinckler and Company so they can sell without the public knowledge.

    Reply
  10. harry turnover January 18, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Sinckler breaks his silence to say what processes must be gone through…which btw MOST PEOPLE KNOW …yea Sinckler ,everybody knows that one cannot sell JUST SO…lord have mercy.
    Everybody also know that he can’t come after all the WELL KNOWN processes have been completed and say that the price is indeed $80 million or less which would mean EVERYBODY will get more BREAD.

    Reply
  11. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd January 18, 2018 at 9:09 am
    Reply
  12. Kevin January 18, 2018 at 9:18 am

    More needs to be sold. Government needs to get out of private sector stuff.

    Reply
  13. Willz Power
    Willz Power January 18, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Why does he tell so many lies?

    Reply
  14. Sue Donym January 18, 2018 at 10:18 am

    What did this broken silence add to the discussion? Still don’t know how the valuation was done and how or from whom the bids were “invited” but it’s all transparent… clear as mud to me!

    Reply
  15. Jerry January 18, 2018 at 11:19 am

    A Hotel Property on such a beautiful site like Needhams point where every room has a sea view is sold per room and how much per room income it generates. The hotel has 350 rooms and at the Valuation at lowest end in a distress situation (Loosing Money run down , poor reputation and in need of being refurbished ) US$300.000.00 per room .so 100 million is a fair price. But the Hilton is making money, has a high occupancy rate , A well respected brand overseas so a bargain price would be $350.000.00 per room or US$125 million.A fair price would be $US$140 to $150 million dollars. Why are Bajans who are getting no interest at the bank not being called on to buy shares. Something Smells very badly here. This transaction should be challenged legally in the Law Courts if it is possible.bajans need to wake up .

    Reply
  16. Helicopter(8P) January 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    As you know this property must be kept in tip-top shape during this on going process! Being the site where Hilton; the settler at Hilton Head; South Carolina who built and own a jetty for his bussiness in dairying, and poultry in the late 1600’s. His dairy supplied Fort Ann with fresh cow’s milk and eggs daily.

    Reply
  17. Sheryl Smith
    Sheryl Smith January 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    It is nice to hear about Breaking Silence instead of Breaking Wind…

    Reply
  18. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce January 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    He only break his silence when he hear the word MONEY DEMs need putting behind the bars of Glendairy.

    Reply
  19. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce January 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Not even that.

    Reply
  20. Errol Rayside
    Errol Rayside January 18, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Crooks and Liars

    Reply
  21. Peter Ullyett January 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Does Minister Sinckler believe that Barbadians trust him ???
    We want to see the documents relating to the sale, not stupid explanations .

    BUY BACK HILTON

    Form a limited Liability company “buybackhilton.com.” Issue shares first to Bajans, then Caricom, and further abroad if necessary. THe issue would be over subscribed with a price tag of $150 Million.

    The buyer should appreciate the hurt that Barbadians are experiencing. He has many hotels already. He ought to be compensated with a buy back of around US$85 Million.

    The truth is that this government would sell anything to shore up the low foreign exchange so that they can boast about having an increase BECAUSE OF THE ELECTIONS.

    I turn to Mr Commisiong to start the ball rolling as he is the only one who is prepared to take court action. Why are so many “bright Bajans keeping quiet ???

    Please Mr. Commisiong , we need you.

    Reply
  22. Cecil Brooks January 19, 2018 at 10:46 am

    The people of Barbados seems to have forgotten that all crown property belongs to the people of Barbados. Therefore when crown properties like The Barbados Hilton Hotel, The Barbados National Bank is to be sold by a few people who are elected to tell Barbadian the Truth about the need for selling them, then we need to ask what is the purpose of democracy (for the people by the people). Take notice that both The BLP and The DLP have done the selling of crown properties without full consultations with the people of Barbados who are the rightful owners of these crown properties, and all I am hearing is cut the DLP head OFF. People we need to take back our democracy from the few and stop hiding behind all these excuses. Nothing of importance to us should be sold unless there is a referendum by vote and an 80% in favor off to sell anything. we may change any government but until we get involved in our individual constituency machinery and seek change we will always be spitting in the air with our words only for that spit to land in our faces. wake up Barbadians we must not allow a few people to continue making bad decisions for us, PLEASE.

    Reply
    • David Brathwaite January 19, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      You guys always fall into the DLP trap of false equivalance.

      When the National Bank was sold, the then government first offered the shares to the public but the DLP and David Thompson discouraged people from buying. But Thompson himself bought $94,000 in shares.

      We could still have BNB as a local financial institution were it not for the venal politics of the DEMS.

      Reply

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