By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista has completed the sale of the famous Glória hotel to Switzerland-based company Acron on the morning of Saturday, February 1st. Those with knowledge of the transaction put its value at R$200 million (US$82 million).
Oil tycoon Eike Batista, who recently experienced one of the biggest falls from grace the business world has ever witnessed, losing over 95 percent of his wealth in just a year, purchased the hotel in 2008 for R$80 million (US$30 million).
His financial troubles have led the former billionaire to shed some of his biggest assets. Despite spending a reported R$190 million (US$78 million) on the initial and currently incomplete refurbishing of the iconic building, funded by BNDES (National Bank of Economic and Social Development), the flamboyant businessman has decided to sell and give up on one of his ventures.
“We are very pleased,” Kai Bender, chief executive of Acron, said in a statement. “The Hotel Glória is a landmark with a long tradition in Rio de Janeiro. It fits perfectly in with our current real estate portfolio. Upon reopening, the hotel will be run by a well-established international hotel management group. This will potentially offer a higher return for our investors.”
Acron revealed that after renovation of the hotel, which will be open six months before Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic games in 2016, the facility will feature 352 rooms, restaurants, shops, a theater, gym and swimming pool, all overlooking the Sugarloaf mountain.
Acron has 46 more properties worldwide with businesses in locations, such as Zurich, Switzerland; Dusseldorf, Germany; Dallas, United States and São Paulo. The Swiss fund has not announced which hotel operator will manage the Glória hotel but made it clear that they are currently deciding between five major names in the hospitality business.
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