Yesterday we had a brief look at the beginnings of Anfi, their partnership with TUI, one that was fraught with problems that gave rise to the introduction of the new partners at Anfi, The Cazorla Group. They are still in “control” today, some say many of Anfi’s woes stem from their decisions, which is for you the reader to decide. This partnership has not gone by without some drama or other, usually resulting in some bad press being published and the Anfi “propaganda” machine has to go into action. But more on this later.
When TUI first entered the partnership with Lyng, they held 51% of the shares, what we know as the “Golden Share”, this gives them control over the Board of Directors. TUI immediately took advantage of this and placed its own people into the top management of Anfi.
The culture shock was enormous, Tui attempted to move Anfi directly into their own system purely as subsidiaries. There were also clashes at the boardroom level, between the two different systems and views for Anfi and its future development.
It is also believed that the Board of Directors were informed around 2001 that the contract they were selling for their timeshare system was in fact in breach of the new laws. By all accounts, it was recommended that the contracts be changed to fully comply with the law. This was rejected and as we know it set the seeds for today’s problems for Anfi.
As we mentioned yesterday, Tui also had other reasons for pulling out of Anfi, enter the Cazorla Brothers Santiago Sanatana and Manuel, with the Cazorla Group. They are a product of Spain’s transformation which began in the 1960s.
They began with nothing but eventually built a large group of companies and were very successful in the construction industry. They even owned a couple of hotels.
When Tui decided to sell their 51%, there were several potential buyers, this also included the Anfi management and Bjorn Lyng. It appears that while these negotiations were underway, Grupo Santana Cazorla had gone straight to Tui and had already bought the entire 51%.
The Cazorlas were now in control of the board at Anfi.
The timing and the entry of the Cazorla’s were not all bad, it was around this time the project to build the Championship Golf Course and Resort at Tauro was well in hand. It was not long before the machinery of the Cazorla Group was operating and constructing this magnificent course. It appeared a match made in heaven.
But the proverbial spanner in the works would surface, not immediately but simmering away beneath the public face were to be some revelations that would turn the relationship very sour and public indeed.
The courts were certainly going to be busy in the near future, and that time had come. It appears to have originally started around 2010 when the Norwegian family demanded Cazorla´s resignation. All seemed to be well and no real arguments ensued. Then sometime between 2012 and 2013, it appears that around 8 million euros “disappeared”.
The newspaper La Provincia 7/2/2013 reported that Santana Cazorla provided a Promissory note to avoid foreclosure of ANFI by Lopesan who claimed a debt of 14 million euro.
(Source: La Provincia 17/07/2013)
As we know, eventually the Lyng family sold their share to IFA/Lopesan, so now the protagonists were partners, and the court battle was not over. Enter round two.
This story was published on these pages in July 2018 and can be followed at the following link.
The story of Anfi is a long complicated and rather intriguing one, tomorrow we look at the legal battles over the sale of their timeshare system. The historical first victory at the Supreme Court for one Anfi client, which then set the scene for all other cases to follow.
Join us again tomorrow for more on Anfi: The Story Behind the News.