March 5, 2018 / 7:16 PM / 12 days ago

Panama court evicts Trump management from hotel in bitter spat

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A Panamanian court on Monday evicted the Trump management team from the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, in an apparent victory for the hotel’s majority owner, who has fought to regain control of the property.

A few hours after a worker removed the Trump name from the property, the Trump Organization said in a statement that a Panamanian court had ordered the appointment of a temporary third-party administrator to manage the hotel, adding that it believes no final legal determination has been made.

The Trump Organization also said it was “fully confident” it would ultimately prevail in the legal battle.

The bitter dispute surrounding the Trump-branded hotel has shone a fresh light on the business dealings of the U.S. president across the world. Various Trump-branded properties have dropped the name and Trump management teams since the president took office last year.

A worker removes the Trump name from the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, Panama March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Lemos

Earlier on Monday, Orestes Fintiklis, the owner of the hotel in Panama who has been fighting a legal battle to oust the Trump Organization’s hotel management team, said a court had ended the fight.

“Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country,” he said, without giving further information. “Today, Panama has made us proud.”

Slideshow (6 Images)

Panamanian legal authorities did not respond to requests for comment.

The Trump Organization said that the spat will ultimately be settled by an arbitration panel under the International Chamber of Commerce.

When it was completed in 2011, the 70-floor, sail-shaped building was the future U.S. president’s first international hotel venture, a complex including apartments and a casino in a waterfront building that has earned Trump between $30 million and $50 million.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; editing by Gabriel Stargardter and Jonathan Oatis

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