Dominica Social Security to invest in millionaire club resort in Barbados
By Thomson Fontaine
January 13, 2012 1:20 p.m.
Roseau, Dominica (TDN) —- The Dominica Social Security(DSS) will join the St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados national insurance schemes in investing over EC $80 million as minority owners into the beleaguered Four Seasons Resort project in Barbados.
Aerial view of the Four Seasons Resort in Barbados.
The announcement was made by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Christopher Sinckler after months of speculation that the government would join with Paradise Beach Limited, the company seeking to restart Four Seasons.
Sinckler told a meeting of the Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BARAIFA) that the failed project was negatively affecting Barbados.
The project stalled in the wake of the global crisis as the original investors failed to complete the project on time and within budget.
He also revealed that the International Development Bank (IDB), ANSA Merchant Bank and the Four Seasons Company have agreed to put US$180 million into the project to get it restarted.
According to Sinckler, “the IDB will give formal approval of the investment in February, and from there hopefully we can get this project on the way.” He added “The villa owners have indicated that once they are provided with this information they are prepared to start their investment in the project as their investments will be protected.”
The Four Season Resorts and residences has attracted some of the world’s wealthiest including villa owners music titan Lucian Grainge, oil mogul Aidan Heavey, Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
They had however refused to put more money into the project until debts of USD 120 million owed to local contractors was cleared. The Barbados government announced that it cleared USD 60 million of the outstanding debts in 2010.
Just last month, the government of Dominica agreed to raise the age of retirement after the DSS announced that it was facing sustainability issues. That followed its disastrous investments in the failed Colonial Life Insurance Company and escalating costs.