Paulson adds to tourism portfolio in Puerto Rico with new hotel investment
By Jessica DiNapoli
NEW YORK, July 23 (Reuters) - Hedge fund Paulson & Co is adding to its stable of luxury hotels in Puerto Rico by investing about $20 million to buy and renovate the San Juan Beach Hotel in Condado, the island's Department of Commerce and Economic Development said Thursday.
Paulson & Co, run by hedge fund manager John Paulson, plans to transform the property into a luxury boutique hotel. The 96-room hotel had filed bankruptcy earlier this year, listing a debt of nearly $1 million in room taxes to the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.
Paulson's other tourism properties in Puerto Rico include the opulent Condado Vanderbilt, located near the San Juan Beach Hotel, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and La Concha Resort.
Paulson's investments in Puerto Rico are expected to total as much as $2 billion by the end of the year, according to the Department of Commerce and Economic Development. He called Puerto Rico the "Singapore of the Caribbean" last year at an investment summit.
A spokesman for Paulson & Co. declined to comment.
Puerto Rico is looking to tourism as one way to reinvigorate its ailing economy. The island is working with creditors to renegotiate some of its $72 billion debt load.
Another hotel deal on the island was announced this week. Fundamental Advisors, along with partners Leon Mayer & Co. and Aimbridge Hospitality, acquired the El San Juan Resort & Casino, a Hilton hotel, in Isla Verde, near the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, for $71 million. (Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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