São Paulo businessman Guilherme de Jesus Paulus, who lives in Santo André, announced the sale of the GJP Hotels & Resorts chain, which he had founded in 2005, to an investment fund of R Capital, a company that operates in the capital market, especially in the sectors real estate and credit. Sources estimate that the deal had a turnover of R$ 800 million.
GJP, named after the businessman and which manages hotels under the Wish, Prodigy, Linx and Marupiara brands, is the third company created by Paulus that he disbands. The first was the Andreense tour operator CVC, negotiated in 2010 with Carlyle. The following year, it was the turn of the airline Webjet, sold to Gol.
In a statement released to the market on Thursday, the GJP informs that the transaction should be completed in 120 days. The deal involves the nine hotels of the chain, which have around 3,000 rooms, event centers and infrastructure for leisure and business activities.
The Wish brand, the most exquisite, has four hotels: Salvador (Bahia), Gramado (Rio Grande do Sul), Natal (Rio Grande do Norte) and Foz do Iguaçu (Paraná). Prodigy has units in the capital of Rio de Janeiro and in Gramado. Linx is in Rio and Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais). The group still owns the Marupiara resort, in Porto de Galinhas (Pernambuco).
The reasons that led Paulus to dispose of the projects were not disclosed, but specialized vehicles in the tourism sector attribute the decision to the impact caused by the new coronavirus pandemic in the tourism segment – the launch of two projects, one in Porto Alegre, in Rio Grande do Sul, and another in São Paulo were suspended.
The sharp drop in the number of reserves reduced cash flow, forcing the company to inject cash into the company. Paulus studied going public with GJP in search of capitalization, until the purchase proposal came up.
In the statement, the company does not explain the reasons for the negotiation: “Since its foundation, GJP has always invested heavily in the expansion of the network, processes and continuous development of employees, to provide quality and excellent services, providing the best experience in hospitality and leisure to your customers. This strategy allowed consolidating the group as one of the biggest and best leisure and airport hotel chains in Brazil”.
President of GJP, executive Fábio Godinho should remain in charge of the group. The company name, however, must be changed. The R Capital fund is part of the Brazilian holding company RTSC, being its private equity, investment arm, which has R$3.5 billion under its management.
A source who follows Paulus’ trajectory since the CVC, heard by him on condition of anonymity, says that the businessman’s decision to practically abandon the segment gives an idea of the uncertainties surrounding the area in the post-pandemic. “Would he leave the sector if he was not convinced that the situation is likely to get worse? Difficult to answer, but I don’t think so.”
Castle and golf course are maintained
Two of the most exclusive and refined tourist destinations in Brazil, Castelo Saint Andrews, in Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, and Village Iguaçu Golf Residence, in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, continue to be owned by São Paulo businessman Guilherme de Jesus Paulus. Both ventures did not enter into negotiations between GJP Hotels & Resorts and the private equity fund R Capital.
Classified as a mountain hotel, the Saint Andrews Castle was inaugurated in December 2010 and is considered the most exclusive (and expensive) tourist destination in the country. With only 19 suites, divided into Castle and Mountain wings, it faces the mountains of the Valley from Quilombo, the project has daily rates that reach R$3,000 per person.
In addition to the refined accommodations, with architecture inspired by typical buildings from the Scottish region of Saint Andrews, from which it owes its name, the gaucho castle is an international gastronomic highlight. Recently, the hotel’s restaurant, run by Fernando Becker, received the Excellence in the Americas award from the renowned luxury guide Condé Nast Johanses.
Another of the projects that are under the administration of Guilherme Paulus is Village Iguaçu, a mix of a high-end residential condominium with a resort with a golf course. The site has its own forest of 8 thousand m² in area. Launched in 2017, with the signature of the American architect Erik Larsen, the residential and leisure complex is located in Foz do Iguaçu, 10 minutes from Argentina and 15 from Parque das Cataratas.
Aimed at residents with high purchasing power, the condominium offers lots and homes to interested customers. A house with 473 square meters of built area, with four bedrooms, five bathrooms and three parking spaces in the garage, was being advertised yesterday on the website of a real estate agency in the region for R$5.5 million.
Justice will analyze whether entrepreneur laundered money and practiced corruption
Guilherme de Jesus Paulus, 71, is one of the six denounced by the MPF (Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office) to justice under the. He is accused of active corruption and money laundering. The case is in the 2nd Federal Criminal Court of São Paulo.
Investigated by the Federal Police, Paulus is accused of paying a bribe in the amount of R$ 966 thousand to auditors from the Internal Revenue Service in Santo André in exchange for expediting the release of refunds locked in the tax authorities – the amount corresponds to 10% of the total owed to the companies. The crimes would have been committed in 2014 and 2015.
One of the bribe negotiations was carried out, according to the investigation, at a table at the former Fran’s Café, located on Avenida Portugal, in Santo André. The amounts were laundered through checks for fractional amounts deposited in the name of companies managed by oranges.
In addition to Paulus, who ended up making a plea bargain with the authorities, the tax auditor Rubens Fernando Ribas, the lawyer and former auditor Jackson Matsui, the businessmen Átila Reys Silva and Fábio Claro and the accountant Válter Gonçalves were denounced to the courts.