Commercial Court number 1 in the capital of Gran Canaria has agreed that Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL will be put into administration. The external bankruptcy administrator Enrique Sirera Ebrí, will run the company, replacing the current administrative team that was under the control of Grupo Santa Cazorla.
The judge Alberto López Villarrubia accepted the request to place these companies into administration, made by Isla Marina SL, a subsidiary of the Lopesan Group. The decision was taken on the basis that Anfi Group is unable to service or refinance debt amounting to €56.6 million.
The Lopesan group owns 50% of the shares of Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL. The other half belongs to Santana Cazorla, who have the so-called golden share, giving them a preferential position over Lopesan in various matters. It appears that by forcing the Anfi companies into bankruptcy, Lopesan is getting closer to obtaining full control of Anfi.
A report considered by the court describes the financial situation of the two Anfi companies as “ideal”, but also acknowledges the Anfi Group needs new credits or refinancing. Anfi not only possesses a viable business, but also owns large amounts of real estate. It is therefore hoped that the bankruptcy process will result in a recovery of the business and not a full-scale liquidation. This could be done in various ways, including negotiating delays in payments, deducing credits and increasing the capital of the company.
What does the bankruptcy mean for timeshare owners that are considering a legal claim?
Even if the Anfi Group is saved, it will undoubtedly suffer as a result of the current bankruptcy. José Luis Trujillo, Anfi CEO since 2003, has previously made clear that timeshare constitutes the group’s main source of income. It an industry associated with “luxury and trust”, which is why bankruptcy of any part of the group “would affect” the marketing of these products. Former director, Arturo Ramírez said that bankruptcy “would be devastating”.
The Anfi Group has accumulated a large number of creditors, and has been making pay-outs totalling millions of euros, to timeshare owners who claimed through the Spanish courts for compensation. Many original Anfi contracts are illegal under Spanish and European law. In many instances the courts have award a refund of the purchase price and double any deposit taken during the prescribed “cooling-off period”. The current situation could encourage many owners who haven’t taken action to do so now.
If you have a timeshare contract with Anfi and would like to know if it is illegal under Spanish timeshare laws, make sure you contact the Nordic Consulting to find out what your rights are. Our lead lawyer, Miguel Rodríguez Ceballos, has been fighting for consumer rights against Anfi Group for close to a decade. In fact, Miguel was the legal representative behind the first Supreme Court victory on this issue back in January 2015.
At the present time Miguel stresses that the most important step is that anyone who has already started a legal process must notify the bankruptcy administrator of their situation. Following the official announcement of bankruptcy, creditors have 30 days to notify the administration. In this way their credits will be categorised as ordinary, and would rank higher up in the pecking order in the event of any liquidation.
If you own timeshare in Anfi and are unsure of what action you need to take given the current bankruptcy, feel free to contact The Nordic Consulting for tailored expert advice.