December 2, 2014
A report published in the Kaieteur News of Sunday 30th November, 2014 headlined ‘Brassington pawns Marriott, adjoining state lands for US$ 29M’ is once again inaccurate, devoid of fact and deliberately intended to mislead the public.
The Kaieteur News report has referred to the publication of mortgages in the Official Gazette of November 22nd, 2014, by Atlantic Hotel Inc. to Republic Bank Ltd. of Trinidad and Tobago, claiming this to be evidence that the financial arrangements by Republic Bank for the financing of the Marriott operated Hotel have fallen through and that AHI was ‘pawning off the hotel’. The newspaper also claimed that the published mortgages are for assets amounting to ‘US$29M slightly more than what was supposed to be sourced through Republic Bank’. The newspaper report also claims that the publication of the mortgages is evidence of a ‘change of plans’ for the financing of the Hotel.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The publication in the Official Gazette does not disclose a figure for the mortgages. The amount named by the Kaieteur News is completely wrong
The publication of these mortgages is, in fact, concrete evidence that the financial arrangements with RBL are being concluded and that the funding has been committed by the bank. The publication of these mortgages are consistent with standard procedures for the security of a loan agreement and are in line with the financial arrangements published in the feasibility studies for the construction of the hotel project.
The publication of the mortgages by AHI is consistent with the announcement made by AHI and RBL on the 24th May, 2014 of ‘the completion of the financial arrangements by Republic Bank for a syndicated borrowing of US$27M in debt financing for AHI… for the construction of the Marriott operated hotel and the shell of an Entertainment Complex’.
The ownership of the Marriott hotel project, the assets of which total in excess of US$58M, of course remains with AHI and the syndicated loan of US$27 M will be repaid from its operations.
AHI, has on more than one occasion, pointed out that the conclusion of the Republic Bank financing is a requirement for the conclusion of the arrangements with the principal investors to acquire 67% of the equity of AHI. It is unfortunate and irresponsible, that the leader of the AFC, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, should be reported in the Kaieteur News as taking pride over his efforts to discourage the commitment of international investors for this project.