As part of my desire to see The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Resort's value and reputation preserved, I have been reluctant to comment on the lender's decision to appoint receivers. That is their prerogative under the security documents and although it is a standard provision in this case it was unwarranted: the stated reasons for invoking the remedy were incorrect, and it impacts negatively on the Residence owners and guests at The Ritz-Carlton as well as the Cayman Islands generally. Value destruction of this type was wholly unnecessary.
My team and I worked incredibly hard for many years to keep the project going during difficult economic times. When it became clear that the underlying loans should be restructured I tried for many months to reach an amicable commercial solution with the lenders. Despite those efforts, in March – without any warning whatsoever – receivers were appointed and my involvement with the hotel and project I had built was summarily terminated. This move by the lending group came as a complete surprise, and had the effect of halting the day-to-day management and operations of the project. My first reaction was to co-operate with the receivers and I met with them and delivered to them the documents and information that they sought. However, it soon became clear that they were not prepared to make any proposal to me or the operating companies to even cover the cost of assisting them. Instead, they wrote to inform me that they would not be meeting any obligations to the individuals and service companies, which have been responsible for the development, construction and operation of the project for the last 15 years. As you can imagine, as part of my efforts to support the project, both me and my companies are owed sums totaling many millions of dollars by the companies in receivership.
The recent legal actions that have been launched against me were also issued without warning. I have not received any demand letters or prior notice of the claims that were filed, and the most recent claims have not even been served on me. I do not know what the alleged complaints are because the documents are so vague: I am going to try to expedite the claims so that they can be defeated as soon as possible and so that the amounts due to be paid to me and the other companies and individuals involved can be collected.
Orion has been the developer, manager and agent for the companies in receivership for many years. The lending group, which also includes the Kings Foundation, a minority shareholder and subordinated lender to the project for more than a decade, is well aware of how Orion operated the business and is also aware of the receipt and expenditure of funds on behalf of the businesses.
Any misunderstandings about that could have been resolved without the need for legal action. I believe that by taking these actions the lender's true goal is to try to embarrass me personally and ruin my reputation both here and abroad. I look forward to the proceedings being resolved in my favour once the allegations are actually made and I have the opportunity to demonstrate the true position.
I regret that the minority shareholders and lenders have chosen to take this course which can only damage to the project's value and reputation as well as harming the image of the Cayman Islands and the values for everyone who has property or investments here.