• Alex Shnaider in talks with lender Raiffeisen Bank for sale
  • Tower has been subject of litigation and controversy

The billionaire developer of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto is trying to sell the building, which has been dogged by controversy.

Alex Shnaider, the Russian-Canadian investor behind developer Talon International Development Corp., began discussions with his lender, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, to dispose of the 65-story luxury tower and the associated loan he has with the bank of about $300 million.

"Alex and the bank are working out a resolution," Symon Zucker, the lawyer representing Talon, said by phone in Toronto. "We’re looking to sell it in an orderly fashion. The bank is doing nothing to hinder a sale. Alex is not interested in this form of investment any longer." The lender and Shnaider have worked on other projects together, he said.

The Trump Organization, the company led by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, licensed its name to the property and is its management firm.

Since construction started in 2007, the Trump hotel has faced many issues, from construction delays to lawsuits. After opening in 2012, a group of investors in its hotel units sued Trump, his companies and Talon for false advertising. Most recently, condo owners are seeking to remove Trump’s name and management firm from the tower, and Trump Toronto Hotel Management Corp. filed an application in an Ontario court alleging that Talon was attempting to sell the majority of the residential units in a bulk sale.

Representatives for Raiffeisen didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment. CBRE Canada, which is brokering the transaction, declined to comment.

“Trump has a long-term management agreement to operate the property and we look forward to continuing to provide the same high level of quality and luxury associated with our brand to our guests for many years to come,” said Alan Garten, executive vice president and general counsel of the Trump Organization. “We look forward to working with new ownership. Any sale by the developer would not give rights to any new owners to replace Trump.”

Shnaider, who made his fortune in steel production and international shipping, also backed the renovation of Toronto’s King Edward Hotel and private residences alongside Dundee Realty Corp.

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