The city council of Montevideo intends to support the awarding of the Hotel Carrasco casino license to the Codere group, even after the national audit court issued a non-binding statement saying irregularities had marred the decision process. So said Montevideo Pro Secretary Jorge Rodriguez to news source El Pais.
The victorious Codere bid was examined by the audit court recently with regard to financial viability and the hotel portion of the project.
According to a report from the online edition of Soloazar, the court was of the opinion that Codere had failed to demonstrate sufficient financial underpinning for the project and had not identified the source of funding, which was seen as a breach of Article 16 of the tender rules.
The court also said that, with regard to the hotel portion of the bid, the winning Codere proposal did not show a firm commitment or partnership with a hotel operator. The court noted that, of four competing proposals, only the bid from Argentur Inversiones Turisticas S.A. did not rely on third parties to operate the hotel and casino.
Rodriguez for his part said that Codere could face a penalty of up to $6 million if the company failed to meet its obligations as described in the bid. The hotel partner in the Codere bid was the 150-property Sofitel, which is the upscale brand of the 4,000-hotel Accor group, of France.
The individual in charge of the Codere-Sofitel project, Guillermo Arcani, told El Pais that the report of the audit court “plays down” many aspects of a comptroller’s report that had been released the previous week.
Arcani said that the consortium Codere-Sofitel had already answered the negative points cited in the audit court report.
The announcement did nothing to deter the runner-up in the license competition, Hyatt, from seeking further action.
Marcel Graniero, representing Dongara Investments Inc. (Hyatt), said the company will appeal the awarding of the concession to Codere and will look into initiating a suit against the Montevideo City Council.