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Ragnar Lyng

Anfi Partner IFA Group Holds AGM

On Thursday 18 July 2019 in Duisburg Germany the Annual General Meeting of the IFA Group, which is a publicly owned company and listed on the stock exchange was held. IFA Group which also includes since 2016 via IFA Canarias SL and Anfi Invest AS owns a 50% stake in the Anfi Group which they purchased from the Lyng family for 41.3 million Euros in September 2016.

After a capital increase which is intended along with other things to acquire the remaining 50% share of Anfi, the company has a balance sheet totalling 467 million Euros, it is also now 76% owned by Lopesan Touristik SA of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The operating results after adjustment were only €7.4 million before tax due to various special items. With a positive contribution by IFA Canarias SL of €3.8 million including Anfi with € 2.4 million.

Anfi Gran Canaria

Although Anfi is jointly owned with a 50/50 split between IFA and the Cazorla Group, IFA actually has no say in the company as Cazorla has the “Golden Share”. Giving them total control, this is how it looks:

Grupo Santana Cazorla SL has a double vote on all the key decisions, with IFA only having 33% of the voting rights on these decisions. After the acquisition of the Lyng share, it became apparent that IFA is unable to actively participate in any financial and business policy decisions due to company-contractual agreements. Grupo Sanatana Cazorla SL, in fact, excludes IFA any participation in all business decisions, even important business meetings are held and conducted without IFA. But even so, IFA was able to acquire the balance sheets of the Anfi Group.

IFA has basically confirmed that it is being kept more or less in the dark and have no idea what is going on inside Anfi. This does look like Anfi is holding back very important information regarding their position from its own shareholders, this is definitely no way for a company to operate.

During the Annual General Meeting in Duisberg, the most interesting part was the questions and answer sessions. Unfortunately, these are not required to be published unlike the report of the AGM which should be published in around 1 month.

Due to the presence of Anfi insiders (including Inside Timeshares source), the IFA board was totally overwhelmed with questions concerning almost all the problems of Anfi. There was nothing left out and of particular importance were the questions regarding the solvency and the wave of complaints. Our source has limited these to only a few concrete statements:

  1. By 31 December 2018 there were around 1,000 complaints at court;
  2. The complaints would only lead to a deferred resale of withdrawn weeks;
  3. In all cases Anfi claims it looks for agreement out of court;
  4. Anfi has formed a €15.5 million risk reserve for that eventuality, (does this mean that IFA also has to contribute the same amount?);
  5. IFA sees Anfi as solvent with some bearable risk;
  6. A full takeover of Anfi is planned within the next 5 years:
  7. There are also negotiations with the Mogan Community about a hotel in Tauro;

What we also know about this “partnership” is that IFA claims they were not aware of the “Cazorla Golden Share” until after they purchased the 50% from Ragnar Lyng. It was also confirmed by IFA that they have very limited access to the running of the business and information. This poses a very important question, as IFA is a multinational public company spending millions on this purchase, is it conceivable that they did not perform due diligence before committing to the purchase?

It has also transpired that IFA was also unaware of an article published in La Provincia in March 2019 that Anfi was employing delaying tactics with payouts ordered by the courts. Inside Timeshare found out after consulting CLA that there is €57,800,000 worth of claims. This now begs the question if IFA matches the 15.5 million set aside by Anfi bringing the total to €31 million, who will cover the rather large shortfall?

One thing is for sure, IFA is a very valuable company, they have recently spent $481 million on their new resort in the Dominican Republic, The Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino which is a luxury 5-star hotel.


Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino Dominican Republic

So even with the Cazorla’s transferring funds between accounts to delay court-ordered payouts, IFA is in a very good position to cover these costs. For claimants this means only one thing, claim payouts will be 100% guaranteed.

It must also be pointed out that the number and value of claims set for the court is only the tip of the iceberg, this may yet rise significantly, especially with Anfi attempting to force members into new contracts. We have already seen two attempts with very little response from the membership.

There are many other questions which need answering but the one that comes up though enquiries to Inside Timeshare most often is if IFA does take full control of Anfi, where does this leave the members, will IFA continue with the “timeshare model”?

The answer that question still eludes everyone.

The one thing that is certain with the IFA revelations and this is great news for clients of CLA with cases in court is that they will now get paid when the court orders the return of their money.

Link to La Provincia article on Anfi delaying tactics.

https://www.laprovincia.es/economia/2019/07/13/grupo-lopesan-inaugura-primer-hotel/1192941.html

Link to IFA stock market information.

https://www.finanzen.net/aktien/ifa_hoteltouristik-aktie

Guess Who is in the News Again? More on Anfi

A day does not seem to pass without the beleaguered Anfi being in the news, this time it is Canarian Journalen, an online Norwegian journal in Gran Canaria. Their article outlines the recent sale by the Lyng family of their 50% share in Anfi to IFA Lopesan. (See link at end of article).

canarian-journalen-logo

The price given for this sale is a paltry 41.3 million euro, which pales in comparison to the reported 100 million euro the Cazorla group paid for their 50% stake in 2004. Canarian Journalen hints at the reason behind this low figure, not just the legal battle over contracts which Anfi are losing on an almost daily basis, but also the problems associated with the Tauro Beach project. They hint quite strongly this could be the involvement of the Cazorla Group in corruption accusations and scandals which may also involve “political characters”.

 

Canarian Journalen asked Ragnar Lyng if these problems influenced the decision to sell? In his reply Mr Lyng stated “It is impossible to be passive partner when it is not built on trust, says Ragnar Lyng. When asked for the main reason for the sale Mr Lyng replied, “Disagreement on business philosophy. First and foremost in how a customer should be treated.Satisfied customers will return again and again, taking with them more, and give praise that strengthens your brand. It is also about respect for other people’s fundamental approach”.

anfi logo

 

 

 

 

Just from these few words it can clearly be seen the original concept of his father had been tarnished. Instead of very happy members who wished to return year after year, they became very disgruntled with the way they were treated. This is obviously borne out by the court judgements against Anfi, with even more in the pipeline. On this point many members have stated they were happy with Anfi as a resort, the problem has been in their treatment, continuous upgrading and the lack of availability.

 

One member who has taken action said they were upgraded several times, the last being a floating week at Anfi del Mar, but when trying to book were told no availability. Yet that was the reason given to upgrade, to ensure availability. When this particular member caused a stir with bookings, he was given one of the worst locations at Anfi Beach Club, on the ground floor with all the noise from the bars and the pool to contend with. This particular client was so incensed by this they sought redress through legal action to cancel the contracts.

 

On another note it has just been announced that on 27 September, the Supreme Court made another judgement against Anfi. This was in favour of a Norwegian client of Canarian Legal Alliance. This brings the total Supreme Court Rulings to an amazing 22, with many more in the process of being heard.

CLA Logo

The Norwegian clients have been awarded 27,000 euro, with their contract being declared null & void. Again the Supreme Court ruled on the basis that “Floating Weeks” are illegal. More on this as it is made public. So to the clients and the legal team at CLA, a very big congratulations.

 

It is very clear these stories on legal action, the sale by Lyng to Lopesan and off course the ongoing investigation into the Project at Tauro Beach still have a long way to go. It will certainly keep the newspapers busy, Inside Timeshare will publish any news as and when it comes in, so watch this space!

 

http://www.canariajournalen.no/Nyheter/Lyng-familien-har-solgt-seg-ut-av-timeshare-anlegget-Anfi-del-Mar-paa-Gran-Canaria

 

If you need any information on any article published, or just need information on any company you may be dealing with, contact Inside Timeshare, if we don´t know the answer we will find out for you. Have a good weekend.

Lopesan Buys Lyngs Anfi Share Update.

Yesterday Inside Timeshare published the news that Ragnar Lyng had sold his 50% share of Anfi to Lopesan. Gran Canaria Info, an online news and information site also published the story, they also asked one question, why so cheap?

 

Thinking about this, 41 million euros is a rather low price for the Anfi resort, even if it is only a 50% share. One has to ask is it because Mr Lyng just wanted out due to all the problems he and Anfi are having?

 

You do have to wonder at this, after all it is one of the largest timeshare concerns in Spain, and definitely the largest in the Canaries. It consists of 1000 apartments, over 30,000 members, a marina, 2 golf courses and a huge commercial center. Then there are the plans for the new beach and marina at Tauro, which will also include a new shopping center and new hotels which will have around 5000 to 7000 beds.

 

We know the Cazorla side have the controlling share, with Santana Cazorla having control of the board of directors. Somehow I cannot see Lopesan putting up with that situation, there must be something else in the pipeline. We also know from other news reports that Santana Cazorla has “retired” to Morocco, all this under the cloud of the investigations into Tauro Beach, with a senior official being dismissed along with others who must now be fearful of the same as well as being under threat of prosecution.

 

It is also known there was no environmental study carried out on the project, which means we do not know what impact the 70,000 tonnes of untreated Saharan sand would have. The fact this beach project is also only 300 meters from a special area of conservation, should have been a major point of having full and detailed environmental reports. All this has come out because of the investigation instigated by the Guardia Civil into the project, for the Guardia to be involved it must be extremely serious.

 

Then we have the residents of Tauro Beach, it was only in August that many of the homes were flooded. These floods are a direct result of the man made beach, the natural protection from high tides was removed, thereby allowing the sea to just wash over the beach and cause mayhem. These residents have also made official complaints to the Guardia Civil, adding even more pressure on the beleaguered Anfi Group.

 

This is a story that will not be going away for some time, again the question must be asked, how is all this going to affect those 30,000 members of Anfi? After all even without the developments of the past month, Anfi have been severely battered in the courts, with 17 Supreme Court rulings made against them on behalf of clients represented by Canarian Legal Alliance. So we now wait for the next chapter in this story.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other timeshare matter, contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to answer them. If we don´t know we will find out for you.

 

http://www.gran-canaria-info.com/news/what-on-earth-is-going-on-at-anfi-del-mar

 

http://www.gran-canaria-info.com/news/what-on-earth-is-going-on-at-tauro-beach

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/irregularities-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

 

Lopesan Buy Out the Lyng Family´s 50% of Anfi.

So it has finally happened, the news broke yesterday afternoon that Ragnar Lyng, the heir to the late Bjorn Lyng founder of Anfi, has sold his 50% share to Lopesan IFA. It is reported that Lopesan has paid 41.3 million euros with the papers having now been signed.

The deal has been on the cards for around ten years, since the death of his father none of the Lyng family have lived in Gran Canaria. All of the legal problems that have beset the partnership with Santana Cazorla have been bitter and very public. There have been battles over control of the board, court cases involving millions of euros which have been diverted to the Cazorla Group, as well as a long running court battle which also involved Lopesan.

 

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. Lopesan claimed the ANFI Group owed 14 million euros for the land in Tauro purchased from the Cardenas family. Lopesan claimed it was owed this as they had bought a Cardenas debt.

The Lopesan Group is well known on Gran Canaria, it has many hotels which are of a very high standard, 3 of which are located in Meloneras. Lopesan has no timeshare interest and are purely a hotel chain, so this begs the question what are their plans? Will the Anfi resort become another all inclusive, what is going to happen to the timeshare owners?

 

Over the past 18 months Anfi have been beset with severe legal problems, the Supreme Court has made a staggering 17 rulings against Anfi. These cases which have been brought on behalf of purchasers of the Anfi timeshare product by the local law firm Canarian Legal Alliance, has cost the Anfi group millions of euros. There are still over 100 cases waiting to be heard by the Supreme Court, with hundreds more pending at the lower courts.

 

Along with the investigations into the Tauro Beach project, which has already resulted in the head of the Canarian Coastal Authority being sacked, there is the possibility of more court cases of a much more serious nature in the pipeline. Could all this be the reason that Santana Cazorla himself has “retired” to Morocco as published in a previous article, the fact one of his bitterest rivals is now a 50% shareholder, along with the possibility of charges over Tauro Beach, does make it look like he has actually “done a runner”.

 

The main question now is what is going to happen in respect of the Anfi members, will this new partnership of “enemies” have an effect on the resort? Are Anfi still going to be selling its product, or is the sales side going to close? These and many other questions will eventually be answered and Inside Timeshare will publish the news as it comes in.

 

Search Anfi for all the articles previously published, click on the links below for some of the main events.

 

If you have any questions about this subject or any other article contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to answer them.

 

http://thecanarynews.com/anfi-del-mar-sold-to-ifa-for-e41m/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-boss-cazorla-going-morocco-retirement-escape/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/irregularities-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

The Great ANFI Battle of the Partners.

anfi logo

What is actually happening at the ANFI Group

 

Apart from newspaper articles in the Spanish Press very little is being said, it appears the members are being kept in the dark. Well I suppose this is nothing unusual in the timeshare industry.

 

ANFI is owned by two factions on an equal 50/50 basis, on one side are the Spanish owners:

 

Santiago Santana Cazorla who is also the president, his Brother Manuel and Anfi Group CEO Arturo Ramirez.

Santiago Santana Cazorla Santiago Santana Cazorla

Then there is the Norwegian part of the company represented by the heir to the late Björn Lyng, his eldest son Ragnar Lyng.

 

It appears to have originally started around 2010 When the Norwegian family demanded Sr 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”.

 

Apparently the Lyng´s noticed the diversion of these funds while a lawsuit was pending between Santana Cazorla and Lopesan at The Court of the First Instance No1 of Las Palmas.

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