Published On: Mon, Oct 27th, 2014

Iconic Bahamas hotel sold to Chinese

hp-Hilton-Nassau-Bahamas-Lobby-2NASSAU, Bahamas -- The China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has purchased the British Colonial hotel in Nassau after 20 months of negotiations.

The sale price was undisclosed, but well-placed sources say the closing of the transaction will take place in the next couple of months.

Guardian Business also understands that while the hotel’s ownership will change, the British Colonial will continue to be managed by Hilton.

On Tuesday, the government announced a contract signing with CSCEC at the British Colonial Hilton. Sources say the hotel’s employees were informed about the sale by late Thursday afternoon, following the reaching of a deal between the current owners of the property and CSCEC. The employees were told that their benefits would all be paid and their seniority transferred to the buying entity, which we understand was received as “good news”.

One reason many have been watching the sale with interest is the six acres of undeveloped land attached to the hotel. Guardian Business understands that this land -- seen as a development opportunity -- was a strong part of the attraction for the new owners, and will be developed extensively.

CSCEC, through its subsidiary, China Construction America (CCA), is the Chinese state-owned company building the multibillion-dollar Baha Mar resort on the Cable Beach strip. With the purchase of the British Colonial, China will own two major properties in the Bahamian tourism plant, and Guardian Business understands the Chinese state-owned company will likely be involved in the Downtown Nassau Project. If so, it is likely that CSCEC will use the purchase of the British Colonial to anchor its redevelopment of downtown Nassau.

By K. Quincy Parker
Nassau Guardian Business Editor 

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