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