The IFA tourist company has fought in the fratricidal war that for years the brothers Manuel and Santiago Santana Cazorla have been starring, and has practically put an end to the battle for leadership in the accommodation sector of Gran Canaria that Lopesan maintained for years – with a majority presence in IFA– and Grupo Santana Cazorla. Manuel has disposed of the 50% that he controlled in the family holding company, which opens the door to Lopesan to control assets such as Anfi del Mar and see how the execution of its expansion plans in the Taurus ravine approaches.
“We are interested in tourist assets,” said the IFA president yesterday, Santiago de Armas, which confirmed the closure of the operation carried out on the eve of Three Kings Day by Canarias Now (eldiario.es). More than five years after De Armas himself signed the purchase from the heirs of the Norwegian Björn Lyng of half of Anfi del Mar and Anfi Tauro for 41.2 million euros, comes the final blow to remove Santana from the business map Cazorla.
The battle between the Santana Cazorla brothers has been decisive in closing the operation
The rivalry between Lopesan and Santana Cazorla It is an episode that will occupy space in the story of Canarian tourist history, although it is true that the balance had been tilted towards the former for some time. While Francisco López, CEO of Lopesan, clamored for the impossibility of building more hotels on the island and inaugurated a luxurious resort in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), the Santana Cazorlas were drowning in a growing financial debt.
At the same time the differences between the brothers Manuel and Santiago increased. The result was the paralysis of the business, for which the IFA Supervisory Board consigned a budget of 50 million euros in order to gain a majority that would allow maneuvering in Anfi.
The disbursement made by IFA to acquire 50% ownership of Manuel Santana Cazorla has not transpired, although sources close to it assure that it was well below the fifty million euros provided for this purpose. In any case, “A very reasonable and adjusted amount has been paid”, according to the IFA president.
“The company was not working and they had many problems,” explained Santiago de Armas, who also revealed that the negotiations between the parties had been going on for a long time without bearing fruit to date. Although the acquired corporate package includes companies of a very diverse nature, “what has value in the Santana Cazorla Group is Anfi “, continued the president of IFA Hotels.
Among the companies that are not of interest to Lopesan in principle, there are those in the liquidation process and one of the possibilities is to drop all those that are not directly linked to the accommodation business. Thus, at least it is clear from the words of the president of IFA Hotels, who did not hide that the aspiration is to dedicate oneself to all those who are in the “upper part”, that is, they are capable of generating a strong return on investment.
In 2016, IFA already acquired 50% of Anfi from the heirs of Norwegian businessman Björn Lyng
De Armas was sure that Grupo Santana Cazorla has «assets whose value is well above liabilities » that drags the company. The company’s own business is one of those chapters that are placed in the healthy column of accounting.
Ragnar Lyng, son of Björn Lyng, described “the IFA managers”, when he sold 50% of Anfi del Mar to the German group that controls Lopesan in 2016, as “very professional”. In addition, the heir who formalized the sale transaction considered that IFA has «the necessary muscle to go further and continue its development [el de Anfi] in terms of excellence; if customers notice something, it will be in a positive sense.
Going further was precisely what De Armas could not do since it did not have a majority control that would allow it to execute business expansion plans. Anfi del Mar has 869 high standing apartments and is one of the most important complexes in Europe in the segment of time sharing (shared time).
In the ravine of Taurus there is land to house 5,000 beds, as well as new apartment complexes, a spa and a marina with a capacity for 500 berths. After the operation, Lopesan has a free hand to promote these projects, although some have already run into obstacles during their processing.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.