22 August 2016 – Expansión
Meliá and Compañía de las Islas Occidentales (CIO) – the Canary Island-based family group that brings together tourism, industrial and service sector companies – have put an end to the legal battle that has been raging between them since 2008.
The hotel chain owned by the Escarrer family has reported in a statement that CIO has acquired all of the shares that Meliá still owned in that group’s companies. Specifically, the company chaired by Francisco Javier Zamorano has acquired 5.03% of Inversiones Hoteleras Playa del Duque from Melía, along with the 8.42% stake that the hotel chain owned in Inversiones Turísticas Casas Bellas.
Inversiones Hoteleras Playa del Duque is the owner of the Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque (pictured above). Meanwhile, Inversiones Turísticas Casas Bellas owns and manages 40 five-star luxury villas at a complex that also houses a spa, mini-golf course and other facilities in the Playa del Duque urbanisation, in the town of Adeje (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), according to recent information filed with the Commercial Registry.
The business relationship between the two groups began in 1993, when Melía was chosen to operate Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque. The problems first arose in 2008, when CIO pushed Meliá aside from the management of the property. CIO defended its decision on the basis that Melía had opened a hotel complex in the same tourist area, which competed directly with Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque, given that, in its opinion, that represented a “clear conflict of interests”.
Meanwhile, Meliá initiated arbitration proceedings, which concluded that the Mallorcan chain had not breached any exclusivity agreement and that, therefore, the decision (to remove Meliá as the hotel manager) was improper and Meliá should receive €1.29 million by way of compensation.
Following that ruling, the company chaired by Zamorano understood that CIO would be automatically entitled to repurchase the shares that Meliá still owned in its companies, and that the dividends received for those shares would be returned, and so, it decided to appeal to the courts. Now, eight years later, and following Meliá’s exit from the CIO companies, the groups have definitively buried the hatchet.
Original story: Expansión (by R.Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake