Foreign Investment Fund Offers €16.1m For Guadalpín Hotels

19 February 2015 – Diario Sur

The transaction could amount to almost €60 million in total, since Caixabank would cancel most of the sizeable debt that Aifos has with the entity.

The turbulent history of Guadalpín hotels is beginning a new chapter. Whilst the property developer Aifos, which constructed these luxury facilities, is immersed in a process to approve its liquidation plan to proceed to bankruptcy, a foreign investment fund is looking to take advantage of the opportunity by placing €16.1 million on the table to purchase the majority of the two properties, but without taking on their management. The administrators have already agreed the deal with the fund, in principle, but the transaction must be authorised by Commercial Court number 1 in Malaga, which is conducting the bankruptcy proceedings.

The offer has been presented by Lumitran System, a company controlled by foreign investors, mainly Swiss and Central European, which has set its sights on the hotels. The offer for the property in Marbella, which is located on the Golden Mile (Milla de Oro) has been made for the common areas of the building, which belong to Aifos, as well as other spaces, such as the ground floor, which houses the swimming pool, reception and garage; the apartments (in the property) are owned by another party.

In terms of the facilities in Guadalpín Banús, the investors are looking to purchase the apartments and other spaces, such as the reception, kitchen and the shops in the building. Despite this, the proposal does not provide for the operation of the hotels, which depend on other companies.

In exchange for the specified consideration, Lumitran System, would also take ownership of other items. One of the most symbolic would be the Guadalpín brand. And another, with more financial opportunities, is a plot of land known as the Village, which is situated just behind the hotel in Puerto Banús, which was reserved at the time for a potential future expansion. These are the targets of a transaction that, although require a pay-out of €16.1 million (by the investors), would generate significantly more profit for a company that does not find itself in the same situation as Aifos, which would see its debt of €59.1 million eliminated in a stroke.

The offer explains that the developer holds debt with the entity Caixabank amounting to €51.6 million, in the form of mortgages over the hotels Guadalpín Banús and Marbella. Nevertheless, the entity would forgive this amount entirely in exchange for a cash payment of €9.4 million and its complete dissociation from Aifos, which Lumitran has committed to.

In addition to this payment to the banking entity for the facilities, Aifos would also receive a cash payment itself. Specifically, Lumitran would pay €2.5 million directly to the developer. Another party that would benefit from this transaction is the Town Hall of Marbella. In their offer, the investors commit to taking over the obligations that Aifos holds with the Town Hall regarding the administrative normalisation of the urban situation of the Guadalpín complexes in Banús and Marbella. According to recent estimates, that would amount to €3.6 million in the case of the Village plot alone. Moreover, the municipal’s coffers would also receive funds from the investors in the form of tax revenues, such as property tax (impuestos de bienes inmuebles or IBI) and garbage tax, which have not been paid in recent times. These payments by Lumitran System would exceed €600,000.

Agreement with the bank

This proposal, which has already been agreed between the investors and Caixabank, is now in the hands of the Commercial Court number 1 in Malaga, which is conducting Aifos’ bankruptcy proceedings. The bankruptcy administrators processed the offer a few days ago and now the period has begun for its assessment, as well as for the presentation of new offers in the event that other parties are interested in acquiring the assets from the developer, which filed for liquidation in October last year.

In a letter, the bankruptcy administrators ask the court to authorise the proposal so that the sale of the aforementioned facilities in the Guadalpín hotels may go ahead. They assure that this transaction would result in “enormous benefits” for the parties affected by Aifos’ bankruptcy. And that the deal would amount to almost €60 million in total. There would be some direct revenues,  €16.1 million (€2.5m for Aifos, €9.4m for Caixabank and another €4.2m for the Town Hall of Marbella), although the most significant amount would involve the cancelation of Aifos’ debt by Caixabank.

In their request to the courts, the administrators also highlight the importance of this purchase being agreed “as soon as possible” to avoid any further accumulation of debt by both the Costa del Sol Town Hall and the bank.

Original story: Diario Sur

Translation: Carmel Drake