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Herdade da Comporta sale - the farce continues

ComportaAerialThe sale of the famous Herdade da Comporta estate descends further into farce with the directors of the management company seemingly determined to thwart attempts to buy the extensive property.

The board of Herdade da Comporta's management company, Gesfimo, has decided to launch a new sales process, only if those putting in bids last time around waive any rights they may have to challenge a future decision.

The three previous bidders are unlikely to agree to this condition, concerned that they would be giving away their legal rights for no good reason.

This imposition already has been rejected by the Amorim Luxury-Vanguard Properties consortium, which considers Gesfimo’s requirement as totally illegal.

If the estate is not sold off soon, it will go into insolvency.

Three quarters of the shares in the real estate investment fund are held by Novo Banco and Rioforte. These have been on sale since the collapse of the Espírito Santo Group in 2104 but all attempts to sell Herdade da Comporta have failed as the fund and the management company need to be sold at the same time to the same buyer for any deal to make sense.

This joint sale is what Gesfimo, run by minor Espírito Santo clan members, seems to be avoiding as they will lose power and control.

Last year, Comporta's sale to businessman Pedro Almeida was agreed, but the Public Prosecutor's Office scuppered the deal because it considered that the proceedings had not met the requirements of, "exemption, transparency and objectivity." Almeida and Gesfimo may yet face charges for insider dealing

In May 2018, Gesfimo board members, brothers Caetano and Carloto Beirão da Veiga, finally pre-selected offers from Oakvest, Portugália and Sabina Estates, none of which could be considered ‘knock out’ and none of which paid back the lending bank, Caixa Geral, which is owned by taxpayers and could do with some good news.

Novo Banco got involved with the bidding process and the proposal selected by the Gesfimo board was rejected at the last shareholders’ meeting. The bids were not comparable and best value was unlikely to be achieved. There remains a fear that a final bid was being selected on the basis of an ‘off balance sheet’ agreement with Caetano and Carloto Beirão da Veiga.

The Gesfimo board said the prices offered for the estate were too low. The explanation later given by the shareholders differed: they said that proposals were rejected because they did not have enough information with which to make a decision and that the bids did not compare like with like.

After scrapping the sale, Gesfimo wants higher bids for the assets so has gone to a round two, opening the sale process to all comers but hoping that one of the current bidders will offer more.

All candidates for the purchase of Comporta will have access to the information presented to Gesfimo and will be "guaranteed equivalent conditions," but will not be "granted exclusivity."

A buyer should be decided on at the end of September with proposals delivered by September 20th.

If Comporta is not sold, the estate is in danger of becoming insolvent, as the trustees of the insolvency proceedings of the Luxembourg-based GES companies, which includes Rioforte, have warned.

As for the US bidder, Asher Edelman and Armory Merchant, he happily will bid for Comporta but only if the Real Estate Fund and the management company are offered at the same time. Only then will there be an end to the fun and games being played by Caetano and Carloto Beirão da Veiga.


Sept 5th, 2018

There is a petition set up by Comporta.Utopia - cick HERE

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