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Diamond Resorts

Lopesan Sue Apollo Capital Management in UK Courts

Inside Timeshare today reports on the latest development involving IFA Lopesan who as we have reported is the 50% shareholder of Anfi in Gran Canaria, it now appears that Lopesan is in a legal battle with Apollo Capital Management LLC, who are also the owners of Diamond Resorts. The lawsuit involves the sale of two of the top Lopesan hotels on Gran Canaria and the deal seems to have gone sour.

Inside Timeshare broke this news back in April 2020 when it was first announced that they had “teamed up”. In the article below there are several links to various articles on Apollo and Leon Black, who has a bit of a reputation for operating in the “junk bonds” market.

https://insidetimeshare.com/lopesan-and-apollo-team-up-breaking-news-on-a-new-scam/

The case being brought by Lopesan Touristik SA has been filed in the London Courts for the non-payment of the purchase of IFA Buenaventura and IFA Faro, both are high-quality hotels with the Buenaventura in Playa del Inglese being a four-star and the Faro in Meloneras a five-star.

The sale price for the two hotels is reported at being €93M, this is a fraction of what they paid to build their new resort in the Dominican Republic which is reputed to have cost $481M.


IFA Lopesan Hotel Dominican Republic

When the case was filed on 15 September, Lopesan said it entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with Oldavia ITG SLU, which is a company incorporated by Apollo as their entity to hold investments in Spain.

The sale had been agreed in late February 2020, with the funds being given an extended deadline for payment of 30 April. One can only assume that the reason for this extension was the effect of the COVID_19 restrictions which has decimated the tourist industry.

El Economista has also reported in their article (link at the end of this article) that the IFA Hotels brand which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, has not had a very good year so far. IFA Hotels has a share capital of 128 million euros and have suffered a loss of 71% since the start of January 2020. 

The deal has also been approved by the European Commission as there would not be any significant impact on competition in the tourism industry. This agreement was made on 15 April 2020.

Once the European Commission gave the go-ahead, Lopesan apparently wrote to Oldavia proposing a completion date, with the two sides appearing before a notary to execute the public sale. It turns out that Oldavia did not turn up for the meeting and they continue to refuse to undertake the completion. 

The case is Lopesan Touristik SA v. Apollo European Principal Finance Fund II (Dollar A) LP and others, case number CL-2020-000597, in the Commercial Court of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.

Huw Davies QC and David Peters of Essex Court Chambers, instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP are representing Lopesan Touristik, with the defendant’s Apollo, being represented by Latham and Watkins LLP.

Resources for this article came from Law360 and El Economista, PDF to the original Law360 article and the one in El Economista are below.

At present, there is no indication of how this is going to affect the relationship between Lopesan and Anfi, could it be a case that this money is required to ensure they have enough for a full takeover of Anfi. This is a distinct possibility considering the expenditure on the new hotel in the Dominican Republic and the current closure of the tourist industry. All hotel chains are struggling at present, most are still closed and the ones that are open have a very reduced capacity, this has had a dire effect on their incomes. Obviously with the loss of 71% of IFA‘s share capital so far this year, the future obviously is not looking good at the moment.

This is a case that Inside Timeshare will be keeping an eye on, as and when more news comes to light it will be published here.

El Economista article original Spanish

https://www.eleconomista.es/canarias/noticias/10780524/09/20/Lopesan-denuncia-a-Apollo-por-impago-de-hoteles-en-Canarias.html

English Translation

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eleconomista.es%2Fcanarias%2Fnoticias%2F10780524%2F09%2F20%2FLopesan-denuncia-a-Apollo-por-impago-de-hoteles-en-Canarias.html

German Translation

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eleconomista.es%2Fcanarias%2Fnoticias%2F10780524%2F09%2F20%2FLopesan-denuncia-a-Apollo-por-impago-de-hoteles-en-Canarias.html

Danish Translation

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=da&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eleconomista.es%2Fcanarias%2Fnoticias%2F10780524%2F09%2F20%2FLopesan-denuncia-a-Apollo-por-impago-de-hoteles-en-Canarias.html

Norwegian Translation

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eleconomista.es%2Fcanarias%2Fnoticias%2F10780524%2F09%2F20%2FLopesan-denuncia-a-Apollo-por-impago-de-hoteles-en-Canarias.html

Swedish Translation

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eleconomista.es%2Fcanarias%2Fnoticias%2F10780524%2F09%2F20%2FLopesan-denuncia-a-Apollo-por-impago-de-hoteles-en-Canarias.html

Translation of Inside Timeshare article

Danish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en&tab=iT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=da&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Flopesan-sue-apollo-capital-management-in-uk-courts%2F

German

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en&tab=iT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Flopesan-sue-apollo-capital-management-in-uk-courts%2F

Norwegian

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en&tab=iT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Flopesan-sue-apollo-capital-management-in-uk-courts%2F

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en&tab=iT&authuser=0&sl=auto&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Flopesan-sue-apollo-capital-management-in-uk-courts%2F

Timeshare Contracts: Held to Ransom Part 2

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, last week we started the series Timeshare Contracts: Held to Ransom, where we highlighted one timeshare companies “exit” policy. The resort was Belton Woods Lodges Ltd and it is not what you could consider very fair. In fact, it is one of the most disgusting “exit” policies that we have ever seen. Today we highlight the policy of Diamond Resorts (Europe) which they have been running now for quite a few years. As for any news from the courts, today is yet another fiesta day in Spain so everything will be closed, so we will bring you the latest results later in the week.

One of the most common enquiries received by Inside Timeshare are from owners/members who have been contacted by “exit” companies, for whatever reason these owners/members just want out of their contracts and the liability of the annual maintenance fees. Most have no idea that their resorts may have an exit program where they can relinquish directly with the resort for either no payment, a fixed fee or the equivalent of up to 3 years maintenance payments.

In fact, the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation), has stated in the past that no timeshare company should ever charge more than 3 years maintenance fees to release a member from their contract. Unfortunately, this does not apply to non-members.

Diamond Resorts in Europe have the policy to allow members to relinquish under two criteria, one is “exceptional circumstances” and the other is for those that do not meet the requirements of “exceptional circumstances”.

So what is Diamond Resorts policy on “exceptional circumstances”?

Diamond will allow the owner/member to relinquish free of any charge as long as the maintenance fees are paid to date under the following criteria:

  • Aged over 75;
  • The death of one of the partners;
  • Financial difficulties;
  • Medical reasons.

The first one is straight forward, obviously, proof of age will be required as the death certificate will be for the second reason.

Financial difficulties, this is not as straightforward as you may think, Diamond, will require an independent and recognised income Vs expenditure report. This can be equated to the old “means test”, you must show all income and savings, it must also show all your expenditure, even down to your spending on cups of coffee!

There is one saving grace on this point, Diamond will accept reports prepared by the Citizens Advice Bureau, as they are a nationally recognised organisation. It is also free of charge.

Medical reasons, the main points this covers are obviously terminal illness and being unable to travel. Diamond will require all medical information from your doctor or consultant. Now one of the sticking points here is being unable to travel.

Citrus House, Diamonds European Head quarters

Inside Timeshare has in the past had readers who have applied for relinquishment under this section and have been denied. The reason is that they were just unable to travel abroad due to their health, but, they could still use their timeshare membership at the resorts in their own country.

But as we have stated they do require full medical details, so just like financial you are laying open all your personal information. Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

If you do not fall into the above categories, then you have the option to relinquish your timeshare by paying two years maintenance, this is as long as your maintenance is paid to date and there are no arrears.

Remember that when you do relinquish your membership, you will not get any money back, you will also be signing away your rights to take legal action in the future if your contract was actually illegal.

Many of the “exit” companies that we have seen in the past basically just take your money, tell you not to pay the maintenance and that when you receive demands to just send them to the “exit” company and to ignore them. Eventually, usually, three years down the line, the company you paid is gone and you find that you are now still liable for the maintenance and the timeshare company has sold a debt to a collecting agency. This may result in CCJ’s being issued by the County Courts for your breach of contract.

So the question is, do you pay an exit company or go directly to your own timeshare company?

The choice is yours, but Inside Timeshare always recommends that you approach your resort first, then if you do not have any luck, that is the time to look at proper legal help. Although the warning is to be very careful who you deal with if you take this option, not all exit companies are genuine and actually do the work paid for.

Yes, this is a minefield, there are new companies emerging every week offering this service, after all, it is very lucrative, just look at the Mark Rowe companies. Every single client who paid them (anything from £4,500 to £10,000) still has not got rid of their timeshare, all are still liable for their maintenance, with all his companies in liquidation.

If you have any questions on this subject or any article published, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

End the Week: Another New Claims Company and Court News

Here we are again, the end of another week, we began with an update on JSD Group Ltd and the number of emails received by Inside Timeshare from owners who have been called by them regarding timeshare claims. These same readers have now been contacted by JSD again, this time it is for the solar panels they had fitted. We also published some of the latest news from the courts in which our old friends Anfi lost yet again at the pre-trial stage with the judge deciding there was no need for the case to go to a full trial. We then gave an update on Club Paradiso, it appears that Alvarez and Marsal, the administrators of Club Paradiso which as we know is in liquidation, have been unable to find a third party willing to take over the management of the Club. Not good news for members. There was also an article on a very dodgy “exit” scheme put into place by Belton Woods Lodges Ltd. Today we end with the latest new “claims” company to appear and news from the courts in Tenerife in which Diamond Resorts lose another case.

It has only been a couple of months since Inside Timeshare warned of the proliferation of new “claims & exit” companies, today we publish details of the latest to emerge, Themis Resolutions.

We can’t say Ltd or SL company as there are no company details on their website, in fact when searching for this company, absolutely nothing comes up, it is if they don’t actually exist!

The website

https://themisresolution.com/

It was only registered on 16 September 2020 and is set to expire on 16 September 2021, yet again a “claims & exit” company that has just emerged with no company details and registering the website for only 1 year. The registrant is hidden so there is no indication who is behind or who owns it. Not very confidence building so far!

On the contact page there is the usual form to fill in and submit, a telephone number: 01935 548 026, the STD code is for Yeovil in Somerset and the email address:

[email protected]

Considering the website is very basic and obviously lacking in any genuine company information, it is actually surprisingly well written. The information is relatively accurate and makes references to the various laws and EU Directives that have been put in place. Well, I should think so, Much of what has been written has actually been pilfered from Inside Timeshare.

Our reader after being called was sent an email signed by Dawn Knott from Customer Care, confirming what they had been told during the call, after the “thank you for speaking with us today” greeting it goes straight to “here are some articles to read” and then a link to one of our articles on the liquidation of Silverpoint.

The rest of the email is again taken from the article, although slightly rewritten, it goes on to explain the situation with the bankruptcy of Silverpoint, which then leads to the paragraph about claims in the “Commercial Court” and Civil Courts.

The last part of the email goes on about making a claim against a credit card company or the bank using Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974. Now considering they show no association with any law firm or explain if they will actually employ a lawyer to take a case to the Spanish courts, it certainly looks like they will be using the usual scenario.

As we already know, the majority of these “claims & exit” companies will state that the contract needs to be terminated first and then they will do the claim. For this, they will charge a hefty sum to do the “exit” and then they will make a claim. Well, first we know that once a contract is cancelled, then no claim can be taken to court, this then leaves section 75.

At present, it is not actually clear if Themis Resolutions is actually going to carry out these claims or if the website itself is just a “lead generator” where they “sell” clients to other companies, if so which ones? Whichever they are, it is quite clear that due to the severe lack of transparency, this is one “cold caller” and website you should be very wary of.

We now finish this week with news from the Court of First Instance No 3 of Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife.

In this case, the defendant was Diamond Resorts Tenerife Sales SL, who has now been ordered to repay a now-former member over 49,000€ plus legal interest. The contract again was declared null and void.

It was the usual infringement of the law which made this contract illegal on at least three counts, it was in perpetuity, longer than the 50 years allowed by law. The contract also included a points-based system, which has been deemed illegal on numerous occasions by the Supreme Court. There was also the illegal taking of deposits with the statutory cooling-off period.

The English client was represented by the Lawyer Miguel Angel Melian Santana, with the client being assisted by Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser both of Canarian Legal Alliance.

That is all for this week, if you have received any calls and would like to know if the company is genuine, or if you have any questions or comments on any article published, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Have a great weekend and stay safe.