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Marriott Hotel in Guyana. (CMC file photo)

Guyana: Government nearing sale of hotel

August 20, 2023

CMC – The Guyana government is nearing the sale of the Marriott Hotel to a United States businessman for US$90 million, vice president Bharrat Jagdeo has said .

Jagdeo told a news conference that the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), a state-owned company is preparing to close the sale of the 197-room Marriott Hotel.

Businessman Ramy El-Batrawi tendered the highest bid of US$90 million for the hotel and  Jagdeo told reporters that while he is not sure if the negotiations with NICIL were completed,  Cabinet has accepted the bid.

“It’s basically to wrap up, You know the bid and bidder and as soon as they can wrap up, the earlier the better,” Jagdeo said.

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

The highest of those six bids was US$65 million, tendered by El-Batrawi, 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.

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.

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