By Angelos Anastasiou
AN INTERIM court decision has added a new twist to the saga involving hotel company Aqua Sol, placed under receivership by the Bank of Cyprus in October 2014, and its subsidiary MarisMare, created in August 2014, to which Aqua Sol leased eight of its hotels.
The court ruling, issued on Tuesday, reversed an injunction freezing all of MarisMare’s assets, issued by the Larnaca District court in November, on the grounds that “MarisMare is not under receivership, and should not be placed under effective receivership through an interim court order.”
MarisMare is a company owned and run by Aqua Sol owner Yiannis Panayi’s wife.
Bank of Cyprus had placed Aqua Sol under receivership in October for unserviced loans, but was unable to collect the revenue stream from the eight hotels the company leased to MarisMare for a period of 13 years. The bank resorted to the courts, asking that any money made by MarisMare be used to repay Aqua Sol’s creditors.
Among other demands, Aqua Sol’s receiver asked for the return of €960,000 paid to MarisMare by Aqua Sol for services rendered.
The court initially ruled in BoC’s favour, but Tuesday’s overruling decision claimed that “should MarisMare’s accounts be frozen, the company will be rendered unable to meet its financial obligations in managing the hotels, causing it irreversible damage.”
The freezing injunction had left MarisMare unable to pay the salaries of the people employed at its hotels. The employees staged a protest outside the headquarters of the Bank of Cyprus and Deloitte – its consultants and appointed receivers – demanding their salaries.
A marathon session between Maris Mare and the Bank of Cyprus on Wednesday appears to have brought the two sides close to a compromise, a source from the hotel company said.
The meeting came a day after Aqua Sol’s and MarisMare’s employees announced they would allow the parties involved until the end of the week to pay them their salaries before resuming “dynamic measures”.