Guyana: Government not in a rush to sell Marriott hotel

Guyana: Government not in a rush to sell Marriott hotel

The Guyana government says it may reassess bids for the sale of the 197-room Marriott Hotel here or may have to once again seek request for proposals (RFPs), following the unfortunate death of American businessman Ramy El-Batrawi, whose bid had been the highest. 

“The government may decide to go back out [to bid] or just keep the hotel, there’s no rush to conclude anything here because we’re not desperate to sell it,” Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters at his weekly news conference on Thursday. 

El-Batrawi’s company X LLC had submitted a US$90 million bid for the hotel while iNtegrated Group Guyana Inc submitted the second highest bid at US$86.1 million. 

Jagdeo told reporters that if the successful bid is now not deemed valid, then the government may keep the hotel instead of selling it, “because bids have a validity period”. 

The National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) had received a total of six bids from various companies initially, after issuing a prequalification notice and invitations for bids from interested individuals or companies. 

During the bidding process then, El-Batrawi submitted the highest bid of US$65 million for the hotel property. The second highest bid, amounting to US$55.5 million, was submitted by Robert Badal, a local businessman who owns the Pegasus Hotel. 

However, the government rejected all offers indicating that the hotel is worth more than the highest bid submitted. 

The government had earlier defended the sale of the hotel saying it makes economic sense as the country prepares for more investments over the next year in its tourism and hospitality industry. 

“There is no particular supreme benefit to government owning it. It’s better to maximize the money, invest it in something else, back in health care, or maybe in another facility…. It’s a pure business decision,” Jagdeo had said then. 

Construction of the state-owned hotel began in 2011 and was commissioned in April 2015. It was constructed with a US$17.3 million loan from Republic Bank, which was later restructured. 

  • PublishedApril 26, 2024

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