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Palmyra negotiations at delicate stage

Published:Sunday | May 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Tanya Morgan-Porter, managing director of Philangco Corp Jamaica, which is engaged in negotiations for the purchase of Palmyra Resort and Spa, said last Wednesday that delays in concluding the deal were not unexpected.

The sale was previously projected to close at end-April.

"Anyone that has ever purchased real estate in Jamaica would appreciate that the transaction never follows a scheduled closing, especially one of this scope and magnitude - for example, there are over 280 titles to be transferred," said Morgan in response to a Sunday Business request for an update.

Palmyra's receiver, Ken Tomlinson of Business Recovery Services Limited, said the deal remained at a "delicate stage" and that he would hold comment until the transaction is closed.

Philangco Corporation is a New York-based operation headed by Jamaican Phillip Scott. Morgan, a businesswoman from Montego Bay, and former banker Dunbar McFarlane are partners in the operation.

The company is engaged in long-term investments in real-estate development, private equity and utilities and renewable energy projects.

Palmyra is an incomplete condominium resort development that was taken over in 2011 by its bankers, National Commercial Bank Jamaica and RBC Royal Bank, on claims of default on US$110 million of loans.

The resort sits on 16 acres of beachfront at Rose Hall. McFarlane previously said that the company is in talks with the Urban Development Corporation and Rose Hall Developments Limited regarding the purchase of adjoining acreages, on both sides of Palmyra, needed for expansion of the resort that was initially conceptualised as a 288-room hotel/condo complex. No update was provided on those talks.

Morgan-Porter said the negotiations were "a sensitive issue and for this reason there will be no further comments until closing".