The Government of Saint Lucia will finally be able to settle payments to International Hotels (St. Lucia) Ltd for properties acquired for a hotel development in Savannes Bay, Vieux Fort.
Between 2007 to 2008, the previous administration acquired land at Savannes Bay which was subsequently transferred to a private entity for the development and construction of a hotel facility.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony said although the transaction between the previous Government and Robuck Properties was not illegal, caution is necessary for similar transactions in the future.
“It is perfectly legal for a government to acquire private property for a development and to even transfer it to a private entity for development purposes. But it’s an experience that we have to ponder, because unless really you have any firm guarantees that the private developer is in fact going to engage in developing the property, you really have to be very cautious.”
During the sitting on Tuesday, the House of Assembly approved a motion to borrow US$8 million in the form of a Fixed Rate Bonds to International Hotels (St. Lucia) Ltd.
Dr. Anthony explained that the matter was settled via judicial process whereupon the court ordered compensation for the land for the receiver at a rate of six per cent per annum to be issued. In order to avoid accumulating interest, the Government has opted to pay compensation in full at the soonest.
“The bonds are to be issued to International Hotels (St. Lucia) Ltd, through the shareholders of its parent company International Hotels (Overseas) Ltd as follows: U$ 4 million to Capital Finance, and US$4 million to FINSAC Ltd for the Jamaican Mutual Life Insurance Society.”
The prime minister noted that this is the first phase in the process of returning the land to the Government and people of Saint Lucia.