The dispute over ownership of the Hilton hotel’s owning company, Hotel Developers Ltd (HDL) continues to simmer with no change in the status quo except HDL major shareholder Cornel Perera knocking on the door for his stake.
Days after paying off a foreign loan to build the property, the government said it had taken possession of the property through control of HDL. But Mr Perera, who has a majority stake in the hotel which was exchanged in lieu of a government guarantee for the loan, said this week that he is legally entitled to his stake. “Now that the loan has been paid, the letter of guarantee doesn’t exist and legally my shares should be returned,” he said, adding that, he has loads of legal documents and court records to prove his claim. “I should not be going after them (government).
This should automatically come to me. Once this happens (shares are returned) all government-appointed directors must step down.”
HDL which planned to release some 20 years of delayed accounts to the Colombo Stock Exchange last month, after it was approved by the board of directors, has not done so far due to legal issues.