Aifos, a notorious holiday home developer based in Marbella, has been forced into receivership by one of its creditors , the Spanish press reports.
The company is reported to have 850 million Euros of debt, which would make it one of the biggest developers to date to go into administration, after Martinsa-Fadesa and Tremon. Its biggest creditor is Banco Popular, which it reportedly owes 200 million Euros, followed by Banco Pastor, which it owes 150 million Euros, though Banco Pastor claims its exposure to Aifos is only around 30 million Euros.
Gestión de Obras y Reformas Ltd, one of Aifos’s suppliers and creditors, started bankruptcy proceedings against Aifos last week in a court in Malaga. Press reports speculate that the failure of the Spanish developer Tremon might have prompted the bankruptcy proceedings against Aifos.
Aifos, one of the biggest developers in Andalucia, has been on course for liquidity problems since 2006, when it was caught up in Operation Malaya, a police operation against municipal corruption. Jesús Ruiz Casado, the owner of Aifos, and Jenaro Briales, the then MD, were arrested on the suspicion of paying bribes. Aifos is also accused of unethical conduct by many of its clients, and has serious, unresolved client problems at many of its developments, some of which have been illegally built.
Aifos’s frustrated clients, some of whom made stage payments 7 or more years ago and still have no home to show for their payments, will need to keep a close eye on proceedings if they wish to avoid losing all hope of recovering their money.