New Ritz owners say no discussion over $6M owed
The new owners of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman hotel property said Wednesday they have no obligation to pay outstanding debts incurred by the resort’s developer.
A press statement issued on behalf of RC Cayman Holdings stated that the new hotel owners tried unsuccessfully to contact the Premier with regard to the matter of deferred stamp duty payments before the property was sold at auction 31 October.[*]
“There is no legal obligation for the property’s new owner to bear responsibility for the outstanding duty, nor is there any agreement with the government for any unsecured debts owed to it to be assumed by RC Cayman Holdings,” according to a statement sent on the owners’ behalf by their local attorneys Conyers, Dill & Pearman.
On Friday, Mr. Bush told the Caymanian Compass that discussions were continuing between the government and the Ritz owners about the CI$6 million in deferred stamp duty obligations government claims it was owed by Ritz developer Michael Ryan, and also the stamp duty on the US$177.5 million purchase of the Ritz property by RC Cayman. The $6 million in duty owed is for concessions on the importation of construction materials and other items brought into Cayman when the Ritz property was first being built.
“I suspect that the new owners will live up to the contract. It’s a legal document, and the government cannot afford to wipe it out,” Mr. Bush said.
On Wednesday, Conyers released the statement contradicting Mr. Bush.
“RC Cayman Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries RC Cayman Hotel Holdings Ltd. and RC Cayman Property Holdings Ltd., new owners of The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, are not engaged in any discussions or negotiations with the Cayman Islands Government in connection with the deferred stamp duty payments allegedly owed to the Government,” according to the statement.
However, the RC Cayman Holdings statement did indicate the hotel owners would pay the full amount of stamp duty on the US$177.5 million sale.
[*] Editor’s note: The sentence above was changed to reflect the fact that RC Cayman Holdings attempted to contact the Premier regarding the stamp duty payment issues.