Barnes Bay Development Ltd., owner of the Viceroy Anguilla Resort & Residences on the British West Indies island of Anguilla, filed a plan of liquidation based on a proposed sale to an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group LLC.
The Beverly Hills, California-based company listed about $531 million in assets and about $462 million in debt as of Dec. 31 in Chapter 11 documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The affiliate of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood Capital Group bought the company’s $370 million in secured loans in October, according to court documents. The Starwood affiliate, which has agreed to provide as much as $5 million in financing for the bankruptcy, would act as the so-called stalking-horse bidder at an auction.
The lender would be allowed to bid its debt at the auction, which Barnes Bay wants to hold on May 24 in Anguilla, court papers show. The company will seek court approval of the auction and sale guidelines at a hearing set for April 12. Barnes Bay will seek court approval of the disclosure statement explaining the liquidating proposal at a hearing scheduled for May 3.
The resort covers 35 acres, with 3,200 feet of beach frontage featuring 166 “beachfront and blufftop villas,” townhouses, four restaurants and a water-purification plant. As of October, the company had buyers lined up for 70 percent of the residences, which sell for as much as $6.5 million, according to court papers.
The company collected $49 million in deposits on 97 residences with a total sale price of $220 million, court papers show. Some buyers have sued to terminate the purchase agreements.
As part of the plan the prospective buyers can elect to complete the sale at a reduced price to account for the delay in delivering the property, according to court documents. If they choose to terminate the sale agreement they would share a $4 million fund. General unsecured creditors would share a $1 million fund.
The project was expected to take two years to complete when construction began in 2005, at an estimated cost of about $144 million. Expense projections more than doubled by January 2007 to $327 million, according to court documents. Labor disputes and Hurricane Omar further delayed construction on the resort, which opened in October.
The case is In re Barnes Bay Development Ltd., 11-10792, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).