Comporta’s sale at risk. Potential buyers collide with assets management company Gesfimo

  • ECO News
  • 10 August 2018

Assets management company, Gesfimo, will only present a new sale offer if the contestants abdicate from their right to oppose it. At least one bidder hasn't agreed to this condition.

Herdade da Comporta’s sale is at risk. Gesfimo, the assets management company in charge of the house sale decided that it will only deliver a new offer if the three participants who have been involved in the last phase of the deal, abdicate from their right to oppose the new sale proposal.

The business consortium Amorim Luxury/Vanguard Properties have rejected this disposition, considering Gesfimo’s demand to be illegal. If the estate isn’t sold, it might go bankrupt.

The letter sent on the 1st of August from Gesfimo to the real-estate bidders stated that “for legal clarity and legal certainty reasons, and given our priority of finding a swift closure for the deal, we inform all those involved in the process that the asset managers will only proceed with the proposal of a new offer given the assurance from all bidders that they will renounce their right to contest, appeal or lodge a complaint, for whatever reason”.

The assets from Gesfimo are for sale since the collapse of GES (Grupo Espírito Santo), with 74,55% of these assets being owned by Novo Banco and Rioforte.

Last year, the sale of the estate in Comporta was almost fully confirmed to Pedro Almeida, until the Public Ministry decided to intercept the sale, considering that the deal lacked objectivity, transparency and impartiality.

May this year, Gesfimo pre-selected Oakvest’s, Portugália’s and Sabina Estates’ joint offer. Novo Banco, however, asked the asset managers to consider a new set of proposals from the French Louis-Albert de Broglie, and the business consortium composed by Amorim Luxury (Paula Amorim), and Vanguard Properties (Claude Berda).

The last offer that Gesfimo accepted was rejected by the all other participants who, according to the asset management company, claimed that this proposal was way below the estate’s valuation.

However, the participants claim otherwise: that what caused their rejection of the offer was the lack of essential information that would allow them to rank the proposals properly and accurately.

The highest bids came from Oakvest and from the joint venture Vanguard Properties/Amorim Luxury, both offering around €156m — while the valuation of the estate stood at a €200m value — of which €119.4m will settle the estate’s debt to CGD.

Amorim/Vanguard rejects Gesfimo’s new dispositions

ECO contacted José Cardoso Botelho, Vanguard Properties’ director, who has claimed that “the management company [Gesfimo] said they wouldn’t release a new process if they do not obtain a declaration from all bidders that de-responsibilizes it from all its legal duties. This is a pretentious claim, and it is likewise illegitimate.”

“It is illegal to try to limit our ability to force Gesfimo to comply with its legal duties at this point, as they are requesting their responsibilities to be reduced by all three prospective buyers.”

José Cardoso Botelho also accused Gesfimo of not having complied with the recommendations coming from the general assembly of participants organized by Novo Banco and Rio Forte, that took place on the 27th of July.

If the sale is not successful, the estate might become bankrupt, a situation that had been preemptively identified as a possibility in this process.

“The estate is facing a real risk of bankruptcy”, GES group’s Luxembourg based trustees advised on a report published in June.