Cuba Business

Leisure Canada seeks financing for Cuba hotel projects… again

Posted January 26, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Business.

Leisure Canada Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LCN) announced today that it has retained Dundee Securities Corporation (“Dundee Securities”) as its exclusive financial advisor as it implements plans to construct three 5-star resort hotel and vacation complexes in Cuba.

Dundee Securities will advise on corporate structure and assist in securing the financing for building on these sites. All three sites are currently leased by Leisure Canada on a long-term basis and are free of any claims by outside parties.

“We are moving forward rapidly with launching our hotel development projects in Cuba”, said Robin Conners, President & CEO of Leisure Canada. “Most of the groundwork has been laid for the construction of Monte Barreto, our first 5-star hotel, which is planned for a premium location in downtown Havana. With U.S. tourism on the horizon, we are excited about our future in Cuba and we are now at the point where we need to evaluate financing alternatives.

Leisure Canada has partnered with the Cuban government’s Gran Caribe luxury hotel development entity on the project on a 50/50 ownership basis, a first in the Cuban tourism industry.

Under the terms of the agreement, Leisure Canada Inc will pay Dundee a retainer fee of $200,000 with the potential for additional success payments.

Dundee Securities is part of the Canadian-owned company, Dundee Wealth Management Inc. They are an independent, fully integrated, research-driven investment dealer with institutional and retail distribution.

Dundee Securities is a member of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and CIPF.

Leisure Canada (TSX VENTURE:LCN) is the leader in luxury resort development in Cuba, with multiple properties currently under development, including five-star hotels, convention facilities and championship resort golf courses. LCN is the largest foreign holder of surface rights in Cuba. The company’s unique Cuban business license allows for diversification into virtually any business sector within the country.

Currently tourism to Cuba is approximately 2.5 million visitors per year, but there is a shortage of accommodation, particularly in the luxury range to meet anticipated growth.


Robin Conners, President and Chief Executive Officer

—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-

I’m not sure how Leisure Canada can claim to be the “leader in luxury resort development in Cuba” when Sol Melia has a couple dozen hotels built and operating while, to my knowledge, Leisure Canada has never even broke ground on any project in Cuba, ever.

The company has been getting financing for YEARS yet has no date set for breaking ground on any project that I know of. We welcome all comments and certainly any proof by Leisure Canada that they have broke ground on any project in Cuba, ever. The Monte Barreto project was announced more than 12 years ago yet they are still trying to get financing.

Two years ago Leisure Canada raised C$15million from Dubai Profile Group for Cuba development yet this article above says Dundee will “assist in securing the financing for building on these sites”. How much money does Leisure Canada need and when will they break ground on any project in Cuba?

Member Comments

On January 28, 2010, Warren Stillwell wrote:

I can’t figure out if the Chairman Berukoff is the savoir keeping the company alive or if he is the problem holding it back? Anyone know which way it is?

On January 28, 2010, John wrote:

Perhaps the whole thing is highly organised, well disguised money taking scam oraganised by ‘Don’ Castro?

On January 29, 2010, AF wrote:

Berukoff is one of the most honest men on the planet.  Every year he says that he will be building “next year” and every year he puts up a brand new shiny hotel. It’s been over 10 years and the pattern is the same every year. What a guy!

On January 29, 2010, publisher wrote:

I’m sure he and the company have good intentions and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cuban government is holding them up but I am amazed that they continue to get funding and that their stock in publicly traded.

How does the company have any revenue?


By the way, I see that Warren #1 and AF #3 share the same IP address. Are you in the same location or is this one person? It’s only fair to ask since two different user names were used and these were the only comments ever left on this site.

On January 29, 2010, publisher wrote:


I deleted your comment for being totally irrelevant.

Keep your comments relevant to the topic or you will be banned.

On January 29, 2010, Goldbuster wrote:

You could have left the Madoff part.

Normally timing in those type of public announcement is the key.

I do not believe that Obama is planning to open good relationship with the Cuba revolutionist government. I believe it is just a sick show.

Having a known unreliable investment company suddenly coming forward with a futuristic 5* hotels when the world economy is dying just had to my suspicion.

Cuba cant fill its Hotels, thats the reasons why they now authorize the locals to access them.

On February 04, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

Dundee, just another bunch of legalized investment rip off artists.If they are expecting money from Dubai, forget it, they are now defaulting on payments, no hai plata! The hotel that might get build is the joint financed one by China.

On March 16, 2010, HavanAndrew wrote:

Promoter can’t explain insider trading discrepancies


On March 1, I reported that Walter Berukoff, founder and executive chairman of Leisure Canada Inc.—which bills itself as “Cuba’s leading real estate developer”—has been promising to construct four luxury resorts in Cuba for the last 13 years, but so far hasn’t built a thing.

I also reported that Berukoff—who owns most of his shares through a private company domiciled in Anguilla, a well-known tax and secrecy haven—insists he hasn’t sold a single share during this period. But the company’s annual management information circulars show that, between 1998 and 2002, his personal shareholdings reduced by 1.6 million shares.

During this period, the TSXV-listed company spent heavily on stock promotion, particularly in 1999, when it spent $587,778 US on investor relations and 2000, when it spent another $410,376 US. “We certainly tried to get the story out,” Berukoff allowed.

The circulars show that in 2003, Berukoff acquired more shares. Then between 2004 and 2008, his holdings reduced by another 1.8 million shares. Once again, this reduction doesn’t appear to be consistent with Berukoff’s assertion that he hasn’t sold any shares, nor is it reflected in his insider trading reports, as filed with SEDI (Canada’s electronic insider trading reporting system).

When I pointed this out to Berukoff last month, he offered no explanation. He said he relied on his “professional advisers” to file his reports and vowed to “get to the bottom of it.”

When I called Monday, Berukoff said he had completed a “partial review” of the matter and his lawyer had been in touch with the B.C. Securities Commission.

“You have done a good job of pointing this out. I need to fix it,’ he said.

Indeed, if there are discrepancies, they will most certainly have to be fixed. I will continue to follow this matter closely.

On March 16, 2010, publisher wrote:

I don’t understand how the company can honestly say that it is “Cuba’s leading real estate developer” when, to my knowledge, they have never broken ground on any project in Cuba.

Sol Melia and other hotel operators, Carbonera Club, Dubai companies, Brazil in Mariel etc can be considered real estate developers too.

On November 30, 2010, publisher wrote:

We just posted an article about real estate in Cuba and Leisure Canada as it transitions to a new direction with new management.

On February 03, 2011, Phil Robinson wrote:

Experienced Construction Supervisor looking for any Canadian company now building in Cuba.I am living on Grand Cayman at the moment—only a 30 minute flight to Havana.
Anyone out there with a possible contact number?

  Thanks, Phil Robinson

On April 22, 2011, jpb wrote:

Infrastructure superintendent looking for work on cuban projects.  Earth moving , all underground utilities and road construction.