Government and Property Owners Chart Way Forward In Paradise Beach Development (Four Seasons Project)

Professor Avinash D. Persaud, Chairman of Paradise Beach Limited

Today the NATION has reported that law suits have been filed by UK billionaires Lucian Grainge and Aidan Heavy. Those who have followed the Four Seasons Project know that this is an OLD matter which has resurfaced. The NATION article quotes denials by Mia Mottley and Professor Avinash Persaud, principals for the project, that any NEW action has been filed against the project. Further, the matters are said to being handled amicably between the lawyers. Again this is an attempt at yellow journalism given the emotional nature of the Four Seasons transaction for Barbadians, SHAME!

BU understands there were some meetings held recently where property owners and other key stakeholders of the Four Seasons Project were present. While we are not privy to the finer details of what was discussed, we have learnt that the property owners are not happy with the Mercedes driving chairman Avinash Persaud. He would have done well to keep the likes of Sir Philip Green and other property owners happy because if they are not the Four Seasons Project is likely to continue to struggle.

The property owners led by Sir Philip –  who controls Simon Cowell’s investment – have given Persaud  30 days to produce all the documentation on the project, after which a new company will be created and certain parties removed from the board. It appears there is some disagreement about how a certain 60 million dollars was used to liquidate debt.

BU further understands the influential and very rich Sir Philip Green has expressed his appreciation at the effort made by the government of Barbados to resuscitate the Four Season Project. Such confidence by property owners  is expected to translate in a bigger representation on the board of the reconstituted company. The good news for Barbadians is that the property owners will commit to complete the villa aspect of the project with the hotel funded from the IDB drawdown which has already been approved.

The meetings of late served to clear communication lines which appeared to be clogged and should have been the responsibility of the omnipresent Avinash Persaud. BU has not been able to confirm if proposed changes include the replacement of Persaud’s Queen’s College alumnus Mia Mottley who is one of the lawyers on the project.

It is no secret BU has been at the vanguard of cries against the investment of NIS funds in the Four Seasons Project. While our position has not changed, we are happy to learn of the renewed commitment by Sir Philip Green and other heavy roller investors without which the Four Seasons Project is doomed.

17 thoughts on “Government and Property Owners Chart Way Forward In Paradise Beach Development (Four Seasons Project)


  1. Uh-oh! So those bad people at the Barbados Nation somehow influenced the London Times to print an outdated story when, indeed, things are now on the up and up with the Four Seasons Project. NIS is putting in the 60 million US (when they had only apparently wanted 50 million), IDB has agreed to put in their bit; and the private, well-heeled investors are happy that they will eventually recoup their investments and no longer want them back now.

    Good work Mia!
    Shame on the Nation!


    • @Checkit-Out

      Uh-oh! So those bad people at the Barbados Nation somehow influenced the London Times to print an outdated story when, indeed, things are now on the up and up with the Four Seasons Project. NIS is putting in the 60 million US (when they had only apparently wanted 50 million), IDB has agreed to put in their bit; and the private, well-heeled investors are happy that they will eventually recoup their investments and no longer want them back now.

      The key here is that what was reported in The Times is old soup.


  2. David. You said in your chapeau above
    It appears there is some disagreement about how a certain 60 million dollars used by Persaud to liquidate debt was used.

    That sounds interesting! Is that a recent 60 Million $ or an earlier 60 Million Dollars? In any case it sounds as if a good Investigative journalist would prick up his ears at this one.

    Or is that sentence a mistake?


    • @Checkit-Out

      It is our understanding the villa investors put up 60 million to restart the project but Pemberton and Patterson paid bills with it.

      This is obviously before Persaud.


  3. So Philip Green is a Sir…. Just the kind of chap you would want your kids to fashion themselves after. This Sir thing is really something else. If ever I was offered a Sirship, I would publicly refuse it … wrong company


  4. Casino people wouldn’t have these delays.This project lacks money am I expected to believe that villa sales will make this project profitable? They better call in the Obeah man and get the jinx off of down there.


  5. Now how could the NIS put up US dollars? They plan on repatriating some of the overseas investments that they have made over the years (with the generous collaboration of the Central Bank)?


  6. Mia Mottley is the lead lawyer in a major Government initiative … You see why lawyers does que put to run fah office? Now they got Nicholls, Hinkson, Braddy’s daughter and a few others looking for spots at the trough … Not my vote. Not fah shite


  7. The Nation majority owned at least the local end by BLP operatives will do its utmost to stymie any plans by the DLP to get Barbados moving again. If Mia and Rawle Eastmond have Owen Arthur cornered he knows there is a ray of hope in the anti government crusade by the Nation.


  8. The $60 million is surely the original money raised from Ansa McAl to get the project going again. This was the subject of the Barbados Government guarantee.
    That money was used to pay off creditors and buy some land which the development was on which was not owned by Pemberton/Paradise.
    That says everyting about the quality of the original management on the project – build (or plan to build) on land you don’t own? Madness!


  9. Something puzzles me about this story. You say that villa owners are happy with the efforts of the Government to resuscitate the project and are unhappy with Persaud, but who is the person responsible for getting the ANSA Merchant Bank loan to pay the creditors? Who is the person who negotiated the IDB loan? Who is the person who negotiated the NIS loan?

    It is true that the Government (read David Thompson) guaranteed the ANSA loan and the Government (read Chris Sinckler) supports the NIS investment, but someone had to drive these initiatives.

    And then there are the little innuendos like the “Mercedes-driving Persuad.” What is this to signify? And “there is some disagreement about how a certain 60 million dollars was used to liquidate debt.” Tell us what the disagreement is David. Or you just listening to cocktail circuit gossip. We Bajans have jealousy imprinted in our DNA. As soon as someone is successful there is the implicit suggestion that wrongdoing is involved.

    You know the more I see and hear I realize that Four Seasons is a lot like the flyovers. One idiot makes an ill-conceived comment and scuttles a great solution to moving traffic from every parish in the island except coastal Christ Church and St. James across the highway at peak times and Bajans vault onto the bandwagon like wildebeest in migration.

    I pray and hope that Four Seasons gets built because the benefits to Barbados will be substantial. And what are the alternatives? That the site remains an open scar on what is prime economic land, harbouring criminals who hide behind the hoarding to prey on unsuspecting locals and visitors alike swimming at one of the best beaches on the island. What a waste of a prime natural resource. But we like it so, it seems.


  10. to me the nation story reminded us of why the government got involved in the first place.

    Can we really afford to have that kind of bad press in our main market? This issue needs to be settled in a favourable manner soon.


  11. Don’t fret about the fluff, is it true that the developers have not been happy campers through the process even after Persaud took over?

    The 60 mil referenced was injected by Greene and other investors earlier and Pemberton and Patterson have not satisfied all concerned about their stewardship of said funds? The investors are still pissed about it.


  12. Bajan to d bone
    You know the more I see and hear I realize that Four Seasons is a lot like the flyovers. One idiot makes an ill-conceived comment and scuttles a great solution to moving traffic from every parish in the island except coastal Christ Church and St. James across the highway at peak times and Bajans vault onto the bandwagon like wildebeest in migration.
    ——————————————————————————
    Totally agree


  13. $40 Million to broadcast porn audio during the weather news at CBC….where NIS$60 Million to Four Seasons gine really end up??


  14. Everything BU has been discussing.

    IMF: NIS funds not the way to go
      Government and the International Monetary Fund are at loggerheads over the use of the National Insurance Scheme’s finances to meet a significant portion of the public purse.
    The IMF has raised a red flag on the practice and is suggesting it is a key reason for the delay in solving the island’s fiscal problems.
    The disagreement, which emerged during the United States-based financial institution’s annual Article IV Consultation last October, was revealed by the IMF in a 67-page report related to the said discussions released today. It is urging authorities to “reduce reliance on the NIS to finance public sector borrowing, while recognising that NIS has limited investment opportunities”.
    News of the difference of opinion comes two days after Central Bank of Barbados Governor Dr. DeLisle Worrell announced the social security agency would be providing “approximately 38 per cent of Government’s financing needs”. The IMF is arguing that “dependence on NIS surpluses to finance public borrowing has permitted delays in fiscal adjustment”, saying “the NIS exposure to the Government increased from 54 per cent in 2005 to 69 per cent in 2011”. “At close to 70 per cent, NIS’ current exposure to government is well above the prudential guideline of below 54 per cent recommended in the 2005 actuarial report,” the IMF said.
    “Noting increasing liabilities as the population ages, staff also cautioned that NIS be allowed to better match its assets and liabilities by limiting further exposure to the public sector. To increase investment opportunities, it remains important for Barbados to intensify efforts to promote the development of domestic and regional capital markets.”
    But the institution said Government had parted company with it on the way the NIS’ resources were being used and “disagreed with staff that reducing borrowing from the NIS would help NIS better match assets and liabilities”.
    “Reiterating limited domestic investment opportunities, they argued that no domestic investment, in the current environment, will yield returns comparable to Government securities. Staff and the authorities, however, concurred that reducing the high fiscal deficits in pursuance of the medium term fiscal strategy will reduce the financing needs of the government and help reduce the reliance on the NIS,” it added.
    “Staff and the authorities also agreed on the need to discourage direct lending to public corporations by the NIS and for NIS to pay attention to its capacity to monitor the wide range of projects currently being undertaken.”
    On Tuesday in the Central Bank’s 2011 annual review and 2012 forecast Worrell said the “extent of the NIS purchases of Government debt is prudent, in view of the investment options available to the fund”.
    “Alternative domestic investments available to NIS are all riskier than Government securities and are in limited supply, while investments elsewhere in the Caribbean region may be subject to exchange rate risks, as well as country risk,” he said.
    “Investment returns in US dollars, euros and Sterling are uncertain, and the yields are too low to give NIS the revenue it needs to meet its obligations. What is more, it is not in the interest of national development that NIS should use foreign exchange to invest abroad, in preference to investment in the domestic economy.
    Last November in address at the 43rd Annual Conference of Monetary Studies at Hilton Barbados, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said Government would be relying more on the NIS and Central Bank for funding giving the ongoing fiscal challenges.
    “I can and will give the country the assurance that this administration will not subjugate the financial viability and soundness of the National Insurance Fund to its own requirements for financial support. These approaches, such as with UWI, are temporary facilities to assist Government in its overall fiscal deficit,” he said then. (SC)

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