Anfi del Mar SL (majority owned by hoteliers Lopesan, and the beleaguered Santana Cazorla Group) are reportedly competing with Santana Cazorla family company, Gestiones y Explotaciones Narval SL, for management of businesses and concessions along the Barranco de la Verga beach. The two companies are competing once again for the business concession to oversee the artificial beach at the mouth of the La Verga ravine, in Mogán, including sun beds and umbrellas, jet skis and other recreational rentals, a restaurant business, Isla Corazón, as well as the main marina with berths for some 90 boats, alongside various other shops and restaurants, which have been built next to the port which also has its own boat repair workshops and a fuelling station.

Feature Image: © Bård Ove Myhr

The “Costas”, General Directorate of the Coast and the Sea, are considering the validity of projects presented on behalf of Anfi, and Narval, some twelve years ago, in their applications to win the concession for exploitation of the 145,381 square meters of public domain and terrestrial maritime assets along this piece of Mogán coastline on the south west of Gran Canaria. This whole time both companies have been in a dispute over legal resources to take over this business.

The battle has been continuing since at least 2009 between the two companies, for control of the very lucrative business that this beach brings in every year.

Anfi del Mar SL was originally formed by the Norwegian businessman and industrialist Börjn Lyng, alongside the Santana Cazorla brothers, who built the tourist enclave using sand from the Caribbean, having obtained the first concession in 1989, which expired twenty years later, in 2009. That is why the company formed by Lyng’s heirs and the Santana Cazorla group, Anfi del Mar, requested a new concession for another 20 years. But a separate company, Bultidor SL, which had lain apparently dormant from some time, was also working to take the concession, a company which today trades as Gestiones y Explotaciones Narval SL, and is managed by the son of Santiago Santana Cazorla, businessman Alberto Santana Trujillo.

Since that time there have not only been a series of revelations regarding the timeshare industry, in which Anfi is primarily rooted, but also a change in the distribution of Anfi’s shareholders, after the Lopesan group acquired, through the company IFA, the 50% participation of the Norwegian Lyng family, having bought them out for €41.2 million back in September 2016, and subsequently following a debt default have now acquired part of the Santana Cazorla shareholding as well.

Now Narval, which currently has the concession to exploit the beach front businesses, are maintaining their proposal to invest €5.2 million, made in 2009 , which was to include a yacht club and a spa, while Anfi are proposing to spend some €3.7 million.

Alberto Santana Trujillo, administrator for Explotaciones Narval, points out that Anfi were originally excluded from the contest because the company did not meet the conditions requested by the Ministry of the Environment at that time. In addition, he questions why the Costas has released the Anfi and Narval projects, filed more than a decade ago, for public consultation because, in his opinion, the only thing that Costas should have done is open the Anfi project submitted at the time. He has emphasised that “it is not a public tender” as the concession has already been granted, so all that should now happen is for those other proposals to be taken into account.

Santana Trujillo has warned that if his company Narval does not continue with the concession granted by the Ministry in 2011, they will claim compensation for everything they have invested in this terrestrial maritime public domain land over the years.

For their part, sources from the Lopesan group within Anfi del Mar are reported in Spanish language daily La Provincia as saying that they have taken the opportunity to present changes to their initial project pointing out that one of their proposals is to replace the mini-golf with a tropical park. They have also requested that the 90-berth marina be included in the concession, and that a fee be set for the use of the entire pier, which is not charged currently. All of this would be pending management of the marina being taken on by the Canarian Government since Costas does not have competence over such facilities.