Libertas 7 to Enter the Market for Student Halls

1 March 2019 – Levante EMV

Libertas 7 closed 2018 with net equity of €91.9 million, an increase in its turnover from its real estate and tourist activity of 44% and a yield on its portfolio of listed investments of -0.8%, following a year of sharp falls on the markets. The group expanded its tourist activity with the incorporation of the management of the Sea You Hotel Port hotel in Valencia and it carried out its first direct private capital investment with the acquisition of a stake in Via Nature.

The portfolio of investments in listed companies had a market value of €46 million at the end of the year. The group’s future strategy is focused on the development of new plots, own and acquired. It is also committed to increasing the tourism area with halls of residence for students.

Original story: Levante EMV (by E. Press)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tax Authorities Seize Assets From Marina D’Or’s Owner

4 January 2017 – Expansión

The Tax Agency (Aeat), one of the largest creditors of the real estate group created around the holiday resort Marina D’Or, has decided to take action. The Ministry of Finance has approved the precautionary seizure of assets from several companies owned by the founder and owner of the Castellón complex, Jesús Ger (pictured above), amounting to €49 million.

The measure is based on the fact that the Tax Agency considers that the Castellón group performed an “asset emptying” operation of its largest company in 2010, to stop the possible collection of debt that it held by carving out its activity into several companies.

The debt originally corresponded to the company Comercializadora Mediterránea de Viviendas (Comervi), the property developer and construction company that suspended its payments in 2014 and which appears on the tax authority’s list of largest debtors. Months before the insolvency, it changed what had been its historical name, Marina D’Or-Loger, under which it had promoted and constructed the popular holiday resort.

In 2010, Ger restructured the group’s parent company and divided its activity into four companies to prevent the real estate crisis from dragging down its hotels and the tourist business at the complex next to the beach in Oropesa del Mar (Castellón).

Controversial carve-out

That operation is what has caused the Central Taxpayers Office to claim the amount owed by Comervia (€57.48 million) from two other companies owned by Ger: Gestión Cartera Castellón – which was the owner of the shares in Marina D’Or-Loger until the segregation and which assumed ownership of the hotels and other businesses – and Golf Playas Castellón – owner of the macro-urban Marina D’Or Golf project, which Wanda expressed an interest in -.

In June 2016, the Administration approved an agreement whereby Gestión Cartera and Golf Playas assumed “joint and several liability” for the debt, taking responsibility for €47.9 million and €1 million, respectively.

A few months earlier, in March, the Ministry of Finance had already notified both entities that it had seized their shares in the companies “in a provisional and precautionary way” and “100% of the full ownership and usufruct of the real estate assets, homes, apartments, parking spaces and land” registered in Castellón, Benidorm and Oropesa.

Failed appeals

The two companies and the businessman himself then filed special appeals with the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of Madrid. In the three appeals, the plaintiffs contended that their fundamental rights had been violated as they were not guaranteed any right of defence or access to a hearing. The three cases were dismissed by the court.

According to the list of events included in the rulings, Aeat considers that as a result of the carve-outs and company operations of the former Marina D’Or-Loger, €327 million of net assets were removed from the company. That meant that it was left with negative equity of €140 million at the end of 2010, which was one of the factors that led to its subsequent bankruptcy. Moreover, the most recent appraisal reports from the Ministry of Finance value the properties that Comervi used to guarantee its tax debts to delay and split the payment at just €19.47 million, which is “well below the total tax debt of almost €58 million”. The properties were initially assigned a value of €96 million.

Sources at Marina D’Or indicated yesterday that they had achieved an agreement with the Tax Authorities “whereby their precautionary seizures will be rendered ineffective” and that they have not been carried out “and so they would not have any affect on the activity” of its companies.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Marina d’Or Has Sold Off Assets Worth €330M

14 June 2016 – Expansión

The real estate empire constructed by Marina d’Or in Oropesa de Mar (Castellón) is changing hands, but for the time being, its new owners have little to do with the Chinese group Wanda, despite the rumours that were rife just a few months ago.

The company into which the owner of Marina d’Or, Jesús Ger, has grouped together his real estate business, Comercializadora Mediterránea de Viviendas (Comervi), disposed of properties and land (in 2014), worth €330 million at the time. In most cases, banks were involved in these transfers, given that Comervi filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

The most notable operation to date affects the subsidiary Platja Amplaries, a company created in 2011 with Banco Popular to hold properties and land financed by that entity. In December 2014, two companies headquartered in Luxembourg, created just a few months earlier, Ecol Investment and Trans Investment, took control of the firm, owned until then by Comervi (75%) and the bank, through Aliseda (25%).

The two companies acquired a 49.73% stake each and Comervi retained just 0.54%, following a capital increase that did not involve the contribution of any new funds, but rather the transformation of a €27.7 million loan, granted by the former shareholders, into capital.

Apartments and debt

Platja Amplaries is the owner of assets including apartments in Marina d’Or worth €91 million – which the group rents out or has put up for sale – and land that Marina d’Or acquired in different areas of the province of Castellón worth €163 million. Its debt amounts to €266 million, and is all borrowed from Popular.

None of the vendors has revealed the identity of the owners of the Luxembourg-based companies. Comervi’s financial statements for 2014 reflect the transfer, which allowed the company to increase its net equity by €147 million, according to the audit report, which was not prepared until April 2016.

This was not the only transfer that took place. The financial statements also reflect the sale of properties worth almost €80 million to a bank in exchange for debt. Thanks to these operations, Comervi reduced its total liabilities from €528 million in 2013 to around €240 million by the end of 2014, of which €194 million corresponded to bankrupt liabilities. The creditors include Public Administrations, owed €68.5 million, and Sareb, which has called for the rescission of certain corporate transactions, according to the financial statements.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A)

Translation: Carmel Drake