Trump organization to sue after Panama hotel changes name

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PANAMA CITY (AP) — Operators of the former Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City announced Friday they have changed the property's name to "Bahia Grand Panama."

The operators said in a statement the hotel will be run "with the approval of Ithaca Capital Investments and Orestes Fintiklis," the investor who owns a majority of the hotel units.

Lawyers for the Trump Organization in Panama say they will take legal action to restore the Trump name to the luxury hotel, where workers pried off metal letters spelling out the name earlier this week.

On Friday, Britton and Iglesias, a law firm, said in a statement that it "will be presenting legal actions seeking to restore the Trump name to the hotel and demand that the temporary administrators post a bond to guarantee payment for any damages done to its clients."

Earlier this week, executives of U.S. President Donald Trump's family business were ousted from their management offices under orders from Panamanian officials.

Their exit came amid a business dispute with Fintiklis.

Under a decade-old agreement with the property's original developer, Trump's team was supposed to manage the property until at least 2031.

As part of a deal to sell 202 of the hotel's 369 condo units last year, the team attempted to extract an ironclad concession from the buyer, Fintiklis, not to challenge that management contract.

But Fintiklis did challenge it. Whether the Trump business has a legally binding commitment is a matter of contention.

Trump Hotels maintains that the company will not give in to "mob style tactics" intended to remove it from the property until courts or arbitrators have settled the contractual matter.

Donald Trump's June 2017 financial disclosure shows his company earned a little over $800,000 from the Panama property during the previous 15 months — a paltry amount compared with the payout of between $32 million and $55 million that the company was on track to receive, according to a deal that emerged from the property's 2013 bankruptcy.

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