In the News from Panama

Investment Group Concludes Purchase of Trump Hotel Units

More details are emerging about the sale of the Trump Ocean Club hotel units, announced in July.

We now know the buyer was Ithaca Capital Investments, “an investment company comprising of family offices from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Panama, and its investment manager Ithaca Capital Partners,” according to a press release from Ithaca. No new details emerged on the price, but the group reportedly paid $23.7 million for 202 hotels units and 13 amenity spaces, including the Trump restaurants, according to a document filed in July with the Panama Stock Exchange.

As we reported in July, the Trump’s original developer, Newland International Properties, sold the units after years of struggling to meet the demands of its bondholders. The proceeds went toward settling the debt with the bondholders, who invested $220 million to help build the tower.  

In many ways, the sale was good news for the Trump. Not only does it bring in a new owner ready to invest in the hotel operation, it removes a cloud that has been hanging over the building for years.

View listings for Sale & Rent in Trump Ocean Club

“We are excited to welcome such an iconic property to our investment portfolio and we look forward towards working with the local team, the hotel operator and the Panama community, to establish the property as the premier hotel in the country and the entire region,” Orestes Fintiklis, managing partner of Ithaca Capital Partners, said in the release.

The bonds on the Trump hotel “have been non-performing for about two years,” Fintiklis told the Real Deal in Miami.

The deal was consummated as “part of a consensual process involving bondholders, an original property developer, and prior owner, and Trump International as hotel operator,” Ithaca said in the release.

Ithaca’s web site offers no details on the company or its partners, but Bloomberg lists Fintiklis as director of acquisitions for Dolphin Capital Partners, which sold its stake in Panama’s Pearl Island development in January, to a Greek investment firm.

Ithaca said Canal Bank provided debt financing for the Trump transaction, with Berkeley Research Group, CBRE, Perkins Coie LLP and Britton & Iglesias advising the sellers and Alcogal and BDO advising the buyer.

The Trump Homeowners Association is one immediate beneficiary from the sale, receiving a $2.1 million capital infusion from the sale. This comes only a few weeks after homeowner fees in the Trump were slashed by almost 13 percent after owners took over control of the association. The cash infusion will boost the homeowners’ association’s bank reserves to more than $5 million.