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Govt picks American businessman to possibly buy Marriott hotel

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 June 2023, 14:44 by Denis Chabrol

Ramy El-Batrawi

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday announced that government has given the green-light to open negotiations with an American businessman to buy the Marriott Hotel for US$90 million.

During the first round of bidding, Ramy El-Batrawi, founder of the investment group X, LLC , had bid for US$65 million but in the second round he upped that to US$90 million.

Mr Jagdeo said the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), government’s holding company for state-owned assets, has been approved to go ahead with talks.

“NICIL has completed that evaluation. They have ranked the firm that had a bid of US$90 million as number one rank, the highest bid and they’ve been given the authority to engage in negotiations with that company.

Previously, government had ruled out selling the hotel for less than US$85 million.

Mr Jagdeo explained that government’s informed the bidders that government was not going to sell the hotel for less than US$85 million, resulting in two offers for US$86 million and US$90 million.

Government wants to sell off the 197-room Marriott-branded hotel before it faces stiff competition from at least seven other globally-branded hotels that are under construction.

Meanwhile, the Vice President also announced that government has agreed to start negotiations with China State Construction Engineering Corporation ( CSCEC) to construct a four-lane bridge across the Demerara River from Mackenzie to Wismar at a cost of US$35 million. “This is a competitive bid and this is with the same company that is building the Demerara Bridge in Georgetown,” he said.

Mr Jagdeo said government’s negotiating team for the Linden bridge would include Civil Engineer Marcel Gaskin, Attorneys-at-Law Teni Housty and Ronald Burch-Smith, and Finance Secretary, Sukrishnalall Pasha.

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June 2023