After 42 years of operation, the Maksoud Plaza hotel closed its doors this Tuesday morning (7). Sold for R$ 132 million to the JSL logistics group, the iconic establishment ends its operations, leaving around 170 employees without a job, and keeping under its structure several stories that mark the cultural scene in São Paulo.
Workers who still worked at the site were told about the end of activities at the historic hotel in the early hours of this Tuesday (7). They will fulfill the contract until the end of December, when the building will be handed over to businessmen Fernando and Jussara Simões, owners of Grupo JSL.
The closing of the hotel ends a ten-year dispute between the current administration and the Simões brothers, who bought the building and its land for R$70 million in an auction held in 2011 by the Labor Court for payment of R$13 million in labor debts .
Maksoud is controlled by the engineering company Hidroservice and managed by HM Hotéis. Hidroservice also owns Manaus Hoteis e Turismo and HSBX Bauru Empreendimentos.
After the auction, the hotel’s holding contested the validity of the measure and managed to regain control of the establishment. Now, the parties have reached an agreement and decided to close the process. With that, the activities come to an end.
The group filed for judicial recovery in September 2020. The debts totaled more than R$ 120 million. According to HM Hotels, administrator of Maksoud currently, the debts in the processes were reduced by half and paid in installments in up to 23 years.
The group’s total federal fiscal indebtedness, valued at R$400 million, was reduced by more than 60% and the remaining balance, in installments over ten years. Labor debts will be paid within a year, the company said.
The pandemic also disrupted the group’s operations, which saw the loss grow. In a statement, HM Hotels states that the suspension of activities at the site for the first time in its history, between March and September 2020, caused damages in excess of R$ 20 million.
“The hotel is closed at an opportune moment, given the need for financial restructuring of the group to which it belongs, affected by debts inherited from extinct companies, such as Hidroservice Engenharia itself”, says the text of the administrator. “HM Hotels, owner of Maksoud Plaza, had been bearing the costs of this heavy indebtedness inherited from other companies.”
Low occupancy rates and a reduction in the number of events would have further damaged the company’s accounts, according to the administrator.
Employees told the report of the sheet that the emotional announcement of the hotel’s demise by CEO Henry Maksoud on Tuesday surprised workers. The building is now being dismantled and must be delivered by the 27th, unfurnished.
“Despite the closing of the Hotel, HM Hotels will continue to honor its commitments made in the RJ process, as well as bear the full compensation of all dismissed employees. Customers who had future reservations at Maksoud Plaza will be reimbursed,” the company said at note.
The administrator also announced that it will continue to use the Maksoud Plaza brand in future projects. Located near Avenida Paulista (central region), the site currently had 416 apartments and has hosted 3 million people, according to the administration. It was the first five stars in the city and a reference in hosting celebrities and authorities.
In its heyday, it received the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra, who in 1981 performed in the grand salon. The boldly designed building, which inaugurated the country’s first panoramic elevators, also housed Britain’s prime minister, Margareth Thatcher, and the princes of Monaco, Rainier and Albert.
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