HI Partners Acquires Hotel Incosol in Marbella

17 November 2016 – Expansión

HI Partners, the investment and hotel management company owned by Banco Sabadell, has just completed the purchase of Incosol Hotel-Medical Spa in Marbella, one of the icons of luxury on the Costa del Sol. The firm plans to undertake significant investment to remodel and reopen the establishment, which has been closed for several years as a result of the bankruptcy and subsequent liquiditation of the Cádiz based group Jale.

At the end of February, the hotel company led by Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas managed to persuade the commercial judge of Cádiz, which is leading the bankruptcy proceedings, to award HI Partners both the property and the brand, for €20 million. This sum had to be paid to the creditor banks of Incosol, who were Sabadell and Sareb, with a 50% stake each.

Both entities were owed a debt of €30 million and agreed to accept a discount of €10 million.

Nevertheless, the Social Security – which had filed a claim for a debt amounting to €4 million – challenged the decision and the sale was suspended. Now, the judge has dismissed that appeal and has ruled in favour of HI Partners again, which has now managed to close the operation.

According to sources consulted, HI Partners has paid €20 million to Banco Sabadell – its parent company – which had previously acquired the debt that was owed to Sareb to simplify the operation.

HI Partners’ aim now is to launch an ambitious project to revive the Marbella establishment and recover its lost splendour.

Hotel Incosol, which was founded by the 1970s by the Marqués de Villaverde, became the most prestigious medical-hotel complex in Europe during the golden years of Marbella. All kinds of Spanish and international celebrities passed through its doors, until the tourist complex was forced to closed in 2012, as a result of the crisis involving the real estate group Jale, which had acquired Incosol from the Basque García-Egocheaga family in 2007 for €50 million, in a complex financial operation.

Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Jale Group Owner Acquitted Of Fraud In Incosol Case

27 July 2016 – Expansión

The former owners, the Basque García-Egocheaga family, had accused López Esteras of swindling them during his purchase of the prestigious medical-hotel complex.

The Provincial Court of Vizcaya has acquitted the businessman José Antonio López Esteras, founder of the Jale Group, of crimes involving fraud, continued fraud and concealment of assets, of which he was accused following the sale of Incosol, formerly one of the most prestigious medical-hotel complexes in Europe, located in Marbella.

In addition, his son José Antonio López Esteras Camacho and son-in-law, Alfred Fischbac, have also gone free. They are the former directors of the Cádiz-based holding company, which has now filed for liquidation but which was one of the largest companies in Andalucía in its hey-day, with real estate, construction and hotel businesses.

The case dates back to 2007, when Jale acquired Incosol from the Basque García-Egocheaga family – which also used to own the Hotel Los Monteros – for €50 million through a complex financial and corporate operation. Less than fourteen months later, they filed a lawsuit against the three executives mentioned above, asking for 24 years in prison and compensation amounting to €3.6 million on the basis that they had made payment guarantees and commitments assumed by the Andalucían group somehow disappear.

Those obligations were guaranteed through the constitution of a pledge over 100% of the shares in the company Hotel Monasterio San Miguel, S.A., whose main asset was the hotel of the same name – located in El Puerto de San María – one of the most reputable in Andalucía and the flagship of its hotel division.

Shortly thereafter, Jale filed for voluntary creditor bankruptcy, but before doing so, it reached an agreement with BBVA to transfer ownership of the property to the bank for €24 million, in a sale & leaseback operation.

The plaintiffs consider that, with this manoeuvre, the executives made “the guarantees that secured the fulfilment of its obligations disappear in a fraudulent way”.

Now, however, the Provincial Court of Vizcaya has acquitted them on the basis that “the evidence provided is not sufficient to conclude that the intention behind establishing the pledge over the shares of Hotel Monasterio was to deceive García Egocheaga, or hide from them the fact that the guarantee was going to disappear”.

In addition, the court said that the former owners of Incosol were offered other guarantees in real estate assets worth more than €30 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Simón Onrubia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hotel Incosol Is Sold To A Spanish Hotel Group For €20M

26 February 2016 – El Mundo

The iconic Hotel Incosol in Marbella was sold on Tuesday (23 February 2016) to a Spanish hotel group and the consideration paid, more than €20 million, is thought to be sufficient for the workers to receive €2 million, according to reports from the lawyers advising the bankruptcy proceedings of the JALE group, which owns the hotel.

According to those sources, the buyers have also purchased the brand, and so it is clear that the intention is to revive the luxury establishment and benefit from the name that it has made for itself in health tourism since the 1970s. According to these sources, the banks – Sareb and Banco Sabadell – have ended up accepting a significant discount on the debt, which amounted to approx. €30 million in total.

The operation has been made possible, according to the sources, by the diligence of the judge of the Cádiz court, Manuel Ruiz de Lara, who authorised the bankruptcy administration to sell the hotel in its entirey (and not piecemeal) and for the money obtained to be paid to the bankruptcy creditors.

In any case, it is likely that a dispute will arise with the Social Security authorities, which will end up in the courts. Nevertheless, the money for the 158 workers seems to be guaranteed.

In fact, less than a year ago, the Social Security authorities opposed the sale of the hotel to a buyer, after negotiations had taken place with up to 40 different parties interested in acquiring the property. According to sources close to the bankruptcy proceedings, the debt with the Social Security amounted to around €5 million.

The Incosol Hotel was the last large asset left to be liquidated by the Cádiz group JALE, which is immersed in bankruptcy proceedings in which the owner, José Antonio López Esteras, has filed complaints to the previous bankruptcy administrators, as well as to the General Council of Judicial Power regarding the actions of the previous judge, Nuria Orellana.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake