(Updates with comments, background, lawsuits)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, March 30 An Ontario court judge on
Thursday approved the sale of a downtown Toronto hotel and
condominium high-rise bearing U.S. President Donald Trump's name
to the tower's main debt holder, according to documents posted
on the receiver's website.
The troubled Trump International Hotel & Tower, situated in
the heart of Toronto's financial district, has been beset by
issues since opening its doors in 2012. JCF Capital ULC bought
the C$301 million ($226.11 million) owed on the tower's
construction loan last fall.
The court-run sale of the tower, which includes 211 hotel
rooms, 74 residential units, as well as commercial, retail and
amenity space, had received no bids apart from JCF Capital's
stalking horse offer of C$298 million.
"I think given the amount that was outstanding, it wasn't
surprising," said Symon Zucker, the lawyer representing the
developer, Talon International Inc.
Despite a booming Toronto market, Talon sold less than half
of the tower's residential condos since opening and the hotel's
occupancy rates have been lower than some investors in the rooms
Some disgruntled unit buyers filed lawsuits against Talon
and a class-action suit seeking the return of deposits was
launched earlier this month against the tower's developer.
"Everything was stayed during the receivership," said Zucker
of the lawsuits. "We're in it for at least another year or
The court process only indirectly involves Trump, whose
sprawling business empire licenses its brand and manages the
Toronto property on behalf of Talon.
Talon had previously tried to change the building's name
through arbitration. Lawyers representing Talon and the Trump
Organization disagreed whether a new owner would be able to
retain a different manager and change the hotel
JCF is represented by Jay Wolf, founder of Juniper Capital
Partners LLC, an investment firm that says it targets distressed
or out-of-favor assets with attractive valuations. Wolf could
not be reached for comment.
($1 = 1.3312 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Richard Chang and Lisa