Azure Resorts in Liquidation
On 7th May 2020 it was announced that Azure Resorts Limited had entered liquidation.
Out of the blue Azure timeshare owners received emails from the Company’s Joint Liquidators Mr Wesley Edwards of CVR Global (B.V.I.) Limited and Mr Barry Lynch of Alvarez & Marsal Cayman Islands Limited. The communication to members can be viewed via the link below:
The communication was sent to members of the three timeshare clubs being managed by the Company~:
- Azure Island Residence Club
- The Heavenly Collection
- Azure Ultra
We understand that another Azure company, Azure XP (the manager of the Azure XP Club) has also gone into liquidation.
The Company is part of the Azure Group (“the Group”). A diagram setting out the Group Structure can be viewed via the link below:
The hotel and resorts known as Radisson BIU Golden Sands Resorts is controlled by Island Hotels Group. As illustrated by the diagram referred to Island Hotels Group has an interest in several subsidiary companies including Azure Resorts Limited and Azure Services Limited.
Azure Resorts Limited was the “selling arm” of the Group which sold memberships to the Clubs, such purchases often being funded by UK Banks such as Barclays Partnership and Honeycomb Finance. In addition, Azure offered “in house” finance through a company called Vacation Finance Limited.
There have been numerous complaints made against both Azure Resorts Limited and the Banks for alleged mis-selling of timeshares as investments. Please read one of our earlier articles on the subject via the link below:
Further complaints have been made against Barclays Partner Finance for allowing companies that were not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to broker loans to facilitate the purchase of timeshares from Azure Resorts. Please read our article on this subject via our link below:
Frequently asked Questions
We have been receiving a significant number of queries from existing clients and Azure members.
The Liquidators have distributed a FAQ document which can be viewed via the Link below:
We set out the questions that have been put to us and our answers to the same.
What impact will the liquidation have on my claim?
No impact at all. Athena is pursuing claims against UK lenders. Client claims have been unaffected by the liquidation of the selling company Azure Resorts Limited as UK lenders are jointly and severally liable if purchased were funded by “linked loans”
What steps will you be taking following the liquidation?
We will be engaging with the Liquidator to seek confirmation that our clients are no longer members of the timeshare Clubs. We will also be setting out additional legal and evidential submissions to the Banks and the Financial Ombudsman Service following recent developments as we believe the liquidation of Azure Resorts Limited further strengthens what were already extremely strong complaints.
I did not take finance can I sue Azure Resorts Limited?
Unfortunately, no. A liquidation creates a moratorium that prevents such claims being pursued.
Can I terminate my Azure timeshare?
We are of the opinion that these timeshares are capable of being terminated notwithstanding the liquidation. We already act for many unhappy Azure purchasers and have taken steps to give notice to terminate, said notice being supported by arguments based on case law, statutes and regulations. The liquidation, and the fact the Clubs, no longer has an operating manager give rise to additional ground for terminating.
Will we still be able to take our holidays?
The Liquidators have said that holidays will still be available. However, the FAQ document does raise serious concerns as to whether that will be the case and. For example:
- Azure Resorts Limited is the Clubs Manager. As there is no manager it seems logical that there will be no one to facilitate booking of holidays, at least until a new Manager was appointed. The Liquidators confirm that holidays should be able to be taken subject to a yet unidentified Manager being appointed.
- The Liquidator states that it had been the intention to appoint a new manager before the liquidation. However, this was not possible due to the fact that “cash flow deteriorated quickly after the coronavirus outbreak and accelerated the wind-down process”
- The terms of a new manager’s appointment have not been agreed, and the impact of such terms on the continued operation of the Clubs are unclear.
- It might be the case given deterioration of the Clubs financial position that, even if holidays are made available, maintenance fees could increase.
Will Azure follow through with promises made to sell the timeshares that we purchased?
No. The Liquidators have confirmed that the Resale Programmes have been discontinued and the Clubs are under no obligation to reinstate the same.
Will we receive promised rental income from our timeshares?
No. The Liquidators have confirmed that the Rental Programmes have been discontinued and the Clubs are under no obligation to reinstate the same.
It will not now be possible to pursue any claims against Azure Resorts Limited. The impact of liquidation is that a moratorium is created which effectively means that court proceedings cannot be commenced, and ongoing court proceedings will be subject to a stay.
The liquidator has invited any members who may feel they have a claim to submit a proof of debt form, although whether or not Azure Resorts Limited has sufficient assets to meet claims by unsecured creditors is uncertain. The fact that the company has been put into liquidation is however indicative of it being under extreme financial difficulties with liabilities exceeding assets. In our experience of liquidations is that it is unusual for creditors, even if their claims are excepted, to be paid anything other than pennies on the pound if anything.
Fortunately, this does not effect claims against Banks as they are pursuant to Sections 75 and 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 jointly and severally liable in respect to claims arising from (a) breach of contract (b) misrepresentation and (c) unfair relationship.
Athena Law has, over the last 18 months, submitted hundreds of complaints to UK Banks and the Financial Ombudsman Service in respect of mis-selling of timeshares by Azure and other companies each supported by detailed witness evidence and similar fact evidence. The review by the Ombudsman of such evidence and surrounding legal arguments has been extremely time c0nsuming., In recent weeks we have after a protracted review of such cases by the ombudsman begun to receive provisional decisions upholding client’s complaints in full. The following remedies are sought form Lenders:
- Refund of all money paid to acquire the timeshares.
- Refund of maintenance fees if holidays have not been taken.
- Interest at 8% per annum on all financial compensation paid.
- Cancellation of all loan agreements.
- Lenders to assume responsibility for the timeshares.
Unlike other companies operating in this area Athena, as well as having extensive experience in timeshare disputes, is a full-service law firm with experienced corporate and insolvency solicitors. This enables us to deal with the complexities of issues such as this, which have become further complication by the appointment of Joint Liquidators. Over a number of years, the firm has invested heavily in IT and systems which has enabled us to continue trading and servicing our clients remotely without disruption during the Covid 19 pandemic.
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