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13 October 2020 | Business

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Archie Graham, the developer and owner of the Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel in Windhoek, says the current economic conditions have pushed his business to the verge of bankruptcy.

Graham said a deterioration in property prices had hastened complications for his business empire against which Bank Windhoek has acquired an order for provisional liquidation.

The businessman is being relentlessly pursued by the bank – which he owes N$114 million.

The Windhoek High Court on Friday ordered provisional liquidation of Graham’s Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel and 12 related close corporations.

Graham said the court order was “regrettable” and the whole situation was sad.

“It is a sad moment … a lot of people will not have work, it is a bad situation,” said Graham in a telephonic interview yesterday.

Provisional liquidation

On Friday, Judge Herman Oosthuizen granted provisional liquidation orders after hearing 13 urgent applications by Bank Windhoek.

The orders were granted a week after a similar order had been granted in respect of the property development company Jimmey Construction, owned by Graham too.

Bank Windhoek said the former Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel, now renamed Tirza Investment, owed the bank N$114 million and was unable to pay that debt.

Of that amount, N$86.6 million was the outstanding balance on a loan the bank gave to the company in November 2018, while N$6 million was in respect of a loan the bank gave to Jimmey Construction and for which the company bound itself as surety, the bank states.

The bank said that the 12 close corporations owed it amounts ranging between N$6.2 million and N$15.5 million, and were similarly unable to pay their debts.

The bank had also obtained an order for the liquidation of Jimmey Construction, a business linked to Graham. That company owes Bank Windhoek N$250 million.

Graham said he had sought to reach an amicable settlement with Bank Windhoek. He chose not to comment on the bank’s actions, saying it was pointless to disclose financial agreements with the bank in public.

“We even wanted to come to an agreement with Bank Windhoek but it’s just a sad moment,” said Graham.

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