The property transfer for the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman hotel and adjacent lands has been completed for new owners, RC Cayman Holdings LLC and its related companies.
According to an announcement sent out by representatives of Five Mile Capital Partners and RC Cayman Holdings LLC on Friday evening: “The Cayman Islands Government, having considered all relevant information, has decided to adhere to the agreement it had reached with Five Mile’s valuer, Charterland, last October and accept the payment it received last December as full and final payment on the stamp duties incurred in relation to the [property] transfers.”
The Ritz property was sold at auction to Five Mile Capital subsidiaries for US $177.5 million in what was believed to be the largest value land sale in the Cayman Islands’ history.
However, former Premier McKeeva Bush and his administration questioned whether the sale price for the hotel and adjacent properties was “artificially low” and demanded that another valuation be conducted so that the government could collect more stamp duty on the purchase.
The interim government continued to seek the revaluation of the property following Mr. Bush’s ouster on 18 December, 2012.
The general election held in Cayman Wednesday removed both Mr. Bush’s United Democratic Party and the interim government from power. The election results placed the People’s Progressive Movement in the driver’s seat with nine elected members, but by Friday no new government had formed because the PPM remained one seat shy of the legislative majority.
Officially, the interim government led by Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly remains in office until the new government is formed.
According to the statement sent out by Five Mile Capital: “The new
owners of the property recognise the importance of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand
Cayman hotel to the local tourism industry and are pleased that the transfers
will allow them to focus on maximising the operation and business of the hotel
including over $13.5 million in approved capital expenditures.
“In addition to the
$13.5 million, ownership is also exploring opportunities to build out approximately
20,000 sq. ft. of currently unfinished space in one of the ocean towers, and
upgrades to marina/watersports and golf operations. With a strong leadership
team in place, the hotel refurbishment and operations as well as other
improvements will continue without interruption.”