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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City, Hotel To Discuss Americom

A top city official and Radisson Hotel's executives will meet next Monday, and one key item on the agenda is likely to be who will inherit the contested management rights to the Americom Business Center, sources close to the company said Thursday.

The question of who will run the center has been thrown open by a decision this week in a Swedish court that stripped management rights from Americom, the company controlled by slain U.S. businessman Paul Tatum that is now in the hands of his heirs.

Americom had battled with its Russian partners for two years over the right to manage the center, a dispute that turned into a personal crusade for Tatum until he was shot last November in a mafia-style killing.

Since Americom was evicted by the city two years ago, the business center has been run by an interim team of Russian-appointed managers. The latest court decision clears the way for a more permanent settlement of who will inherit the lucrative management contract.

Vice Mayor Iosef Ordzhonikidze and Radisson executives are "meeting on Feb. 3 so Radisson can pitch its case" to manage the hotel's retail stores and office space leased to high-profile clients like Texaco and other foreign multinationals, a Tatum associate said.

The vice mayor was not available Thursday to comment, although a source at the Radisson Slavjanskaya joint venture confirmed that there would be a meeting with Radisson executives flying to Moscow. He added that Radisson had offered to purchase the premises of the Railwaymen's Union -- the unsightly, white building that was once slated for demolition but still obstructs the hotel center's main entrance.

Meanwhile, Tatum's family in Oklahoma expressed "surprise" at the Stockholm decision. "Everyone was surprised," said Rick Furmanek, Tatum's brother-in-law and spokesman for the family.

The tribunal found that Americom had unjustifiably diverted funds away from the Radisson Slavjanskaya joint venture and awarded the Russian partners $2.6 million in damages.

However, Furmanek hinted that, despite the high costs of further litigation, Americom may press ahead with its own claim for $35 million in damages in the same arbitration court on the grounds that the city was discriminating against foreign investors.