Saturday, 31. January 2015 - 11:01
29. 10. 12. - 14:00
A buyer appears to have been found for the traditional Panhans Hotel at the ski resort of Semmering.
According to Austrian media the businessman Thomas Schellenbacher from St Leonhard am Forst in the district of Melk is now in the lead in the bidding according to liquidator Gernot Hain.
According to information available about his company the 48-year-old heads the firm Pöchlarner IBS Umwelt- und Verkehrstechnik GmbH, and architects and engineers office with a turnover of around 3,000,000 euros a year according to figures for 2010.
Nothing is being revealed from either side about the price but the deadline for the settlement and contract to be signed is 15 January. According to liquidator Gernot Hain he said: "I won't say that I am pleased until the money is in the bank account."
Schellenbacher could not be reached for comment but according to his lawyer Bernhard Wagner they wanted to take control and lead the hotel group as a majority owner. Behind Schellenbacher is an international consortium although details will only be revealed later at a press conference.
But what is known is that the money behind Schellenbacher is probably from the east and most likely from the Ukraine . Last year the Ukrainian Igor Palytsia took over 25 percent of the company and is now managing director. The 39-year-old is well-known in the Ukraine where he is an MP in the local parliament.
Schellenbacher was also in the news in the Ukraine last year when he took part in a major project to build 320 km of flood protection barriers .
Meanwhile there is no news about the planned involvement of lower Austria in the Semmering ski resort of which the hotel Panhans owns 20 percent. The negotiations are reportedly ongoing according to information from the office of regional economics minister Petra Bohuslav.
The Panhans is one of Austria's best known hotels – with its spectacular panorama view over the Semmering region on the outskirts of Vienna. It recently ran into financial difficulties with debts in the region of around 3 1/2 million euros which are owed to 2 banks and various other creditors.
The part of the hotel that is being sold is the majority share currently in the hands of builder Anton Kallinger-Prskawetz - but while he is currently not regarded as in a fit state to manage his affairs and they are being dealt with by a court-appointed lawyer acting on his behalf – it means that things are taking longer than might otherwise be expected.
But once that has happened the new investor can be approved and the necessary renovation work get underway.
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