American businessman with US$90M bid could soon own Marriott Hotel

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American businessman Ramy El-Batrawi tendered the highest bid- US$90 million– for the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown, and Guyana’s government has given its approval for sale negotiations to commence with the bidder.

This is according to Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo who made the announcement during a press conference on Thursday at the Office of the President in Georgetown.

According to him, the two bids received were evaluated and El-Batrawi’s offer was the highest ranked of the two.

As such, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), the company wholly owned by the Government of Guyana, has been “given the authority to engage in negotiations” with El-Batrawi’s company X, LLC.

Initially, six bids were received by NICIL after it issued a prequalification notice and invited bids from individuals or companies interested in the hotel.

The highest of those six bids then was US$65 million, tendered by El-Batrawi. The second highest bid tendered was US$55.5 million from local businessman and owner of the Pegasus Hotel, Robert Badal.

But the government opted not to accept any of those bids, believing that the Kingston hotel was worth a lot more.

Subsequently, all six bidders were invited to resubmit bids with a minimum bid price of US$85 million. X, LLC then submitted the US$90 million bid while the Integrated Group Guyana Inc. submitted a US$86.1 million bid.

Earlier this year, Jagdeo said the government is selling the profitable Marriott Hotel, and once sold, he said the monies earned will go toward paying off the existing loan.

The hotel was opened in April 2015, following the controversial period of its construction. It remains today, 100 percent owned by the government, constructed with a US$17.3 million loan from Republic Bank. That loan was later restructured.

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