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Hyatt stays in charge

HYATT Hotels Corporation will retain control of billionaire Clive Palmer's luxury Coolum golf resort until a court decides whether it breached its management agreement.

The decision came as staff at the resort spoke out, saying the general feeling was manager Maurice Holland had outstayed his welcome and it would in the best interests of employees for him and the Hyatt to leave as soon as possible.

But Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Roslyn Atkinson ordered that the Hyatt continue to run the hotel without interference from Mr Palmer until the conclusion of any trial into allegations it was unfit to do so.

The decision came after the Hyatt said a proposal was provided to voluntary administrator KordaMentha that Hyatt Asia Pacific Holdings Limited would provide a secured loan of $1m for working capital.

Its affiliate Hyatt of Australia Limited offered to postpone the payment of management fees to facilitate the continued operation of the resort by Hyatt.

KordaMentha said after the judgment that it had been relieved by the court of any personal liability for debts incurred at the resort.

"KordaMentha gave a report to the court stating that the Hyatt Regency Coolum Golf Resort and Spa was insolvent," it said.

"KordaMentha is considering an offer from Hyatt to provide working capital to continue operations at the hotel. Further submissions may be made to the court next week. KordaMentha has called a meeting of creditors on March 19."

Mr Palmer is believed to have a security team installed in an Ambassador Villa at the Hyatt Regency Coolum Golf Resort and Spa to maintain a watching brief.

In her written judgment, Justice Atkinson said Mr Palmer had so far been unable to provide a persuasive case that Hyatt Hotels Corporation had breached its terms.

No date has been set for the case to go to trial.

Topics:  brisbane supreme court, clive palmer, hyatt regency coolum


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