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Hotel not for sale

marciadottin, [email protected]

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A MAJOR SHAREHOLDER in Settlers’ Beach Limited has refuted claims that Settlers’ Beach Hotel is to be closed and sold.In the July 11 SUNDAY SUN it was reported that an offer was being made to the British shareholders of the upscale West Coast property, through its board of directors, for the purchase of their shares. The story quoted an undisclosed source who said that the potential buyer of the Holetown, St James property reportedly planned to replace the hotel operation with privately-owned villas.It further stated that Mark King, a partner in locally-based hotel developers BACASA Development Limited, said his competing bid had been rejected by the chairman of the Settlers’ Beach board.He said his company was in the process of submitting its proposal directly to individual shareholders.However, Frank Laine – who identified himself as the “potential purchaser” – has sought to clear the air.“I take issue with your undisclosed source and state unequivocally that it is not my intention to close the hotel, which will continue to operate with its loyal staff and employees, all of whom have been notified and assured by me that the hotel is not for sale,” he said.He told the DAILY NATION he was the largest shareholder in Settlers’ Beach Ltd “with [a] substantial percentage of the issued shares of the company”. “I have been a shareholder for some ten years,” he said, noting that during the past few years the company had experienced intermittent financial difficulty due mainly to the worldwide recession.“For several reasons, including the protection of my not insubstantial investment in the company, I made an offer to purchase the shares of the other shareholders.“Subsequent to the acceptance of my offer, Mr Mark King, not a shareholder, made an offer to the directors of the company,” he explained.Laine said since he did not intend to sell his substantial interest to anyone, the directors met and considered both offers, then agreed to recommend that shareholders accept his offer.“Settlers’ Beach Limited is a private company and under its articles of governance its shareholders are vested with certain pre-emptive rights when its shares are being offered to persons who are not members of the company,” he said. (NB)