Chronicle of a sale foretold
On July 25th, 2001 (or June 25th, according to Berasategui and Gallardo), arguing that the sale to Solari was void because he had not finished paying (leaving aside the issue of the hotel itself, with the debt to BANADE), Marcelo Iurcovich sold the BAUEN to Mercoteles, an enterprise that had been registered at the Inspector General of Justice only shortly beforehand, and with negligible capital. That is to say, they sold the hotel to themselves.
However, the news did not come out for some time. Even the detailed investigation by Santiago O’Donnell, published in Página/12 in July 2007, attributes the move to the year 2005. Years later, the work of Guillermo Berasategui and the report by Gallardo highlighted the Gordian knot of this story.
Clarifying the issue with the data that the judge who denies the cooperative the right to manage the hotel, Paula Hualde, documents in the finding in which, for the first time, orders their eviction to “restore it” to Mercoteles, we can reconstruct the following sequence:
a. Founding of Mercoteles SA: The business Mercoteles SA registers with the General Inspection of Justice (IGJ) the 27th of June, 2001, according to the judge, although in the Official Bulletin n.º 29.678, published the 28th of June, 2001, it shows up as being founded the 20th of June of the same year.
b. Sale of the hotel to Mercoteles: Bauen SACIC sells the property to Mercoteles SA on July 25, 2001, according point III, section i) of judge Hualde’s finding. Gallardo asserts that, according to the writ attached to the case in folios 6431/6453, the sale date is June 25th, one month earlier, which would be even more serious. According to Gallardo’s dates, Mercoteles buys the hotel five days after being created.
c. Transfer of ownership from Solari SA to Bauen SACIC: Commercial judge Eduardo Favier Dubois restores the ownership of Callao 360, which had been in the possession of the failed business Solari SA, to the previous owner, Bauen SACIC, on August 29th, 2001. The decision was confirmed in Room C of the Commercial Chamber on October 25th, 2002. Favier Dubois was in charge of Commercial Court no. 9, which Hualde later occupies. Note that the restitution is not to Mercoteles but to Bauen.
d. Accreditation of the sale by the court: Mercoteles SA is credited with the ownwership of building at Callao 360 in the court of Dr. Hualde (who had already replaced Favier Dubois) December 10th, 2004. [translator’s note: in Spanish, anyone with a law degree is called “Doctor”]