Sol Kerzner’s investment changed The Bahamas and helped improve the lives of the people who live on these islands.
The South African took over the struggling Paradise Island resorts in the 1990s. His Atlantis then became a sprawling resort destination that employed thousands of Bahamians, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to our country over the years. After Disney, Atlantis probably comes to mind when North Americans think of family vacation destinations.
Things were going well for the resort until the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession. Kerzner International had taken the publicly-traded company private before the collapse. Once revenues diminished the resort company could no longer service the debt it signed up to.
Two years ago, Brookfield Asset Management, one of Kerzner International’s creditors, took the company’s crown jewels – Atlantis and the Ocean Club – in part of a debt satisfaction agreement. The company still has not totally finished resolving its debt issues.
Kerzner International continued as a resort management, development and branding company responsible for the management of Atlantis and the Ocean Club after it divested of those assets in 2012.
Last week, we learned that an investment arm of the Dubai government, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), bought a major stake in Kerzner International and that the company’s founder, Sol Kerzner, was replaced as chairman.
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