Published On: Sat, Oct 8th, 2022

Ansary loses legal fight for Mullet Bay

PHILIPSBURG — Hushang Ansary’s attempt to regain control of Sun Resorts and thereby of Mullet Bay has failed. The Court in First Instance ruled on Friday that Ennia Caribe Investments is the lawful owner.

The court forbade Ansary, Ralph Palm and Clarence Derby to pretend they are the statutory directors of Sun Resorts. They are also banned from taking any decision related to Sun Resorts and they are not allowed to call a new shareholders meeting for this company. The court ordered Palm and Derby to deregister as statutory Sun Resorts-directors from the registry at the Chamber of Commerce. Not complying with the court orders carries penalties of up to $10 million.

Ennia Caribe Investments holds 93.3 percent of the shares in Sun Resorts. Ansary claimed that ECI is not the owner of these shares because when they were acquired the blocking-regulation had not been respected.

Based on Sun Resorts’ articles of incorporation shares can only be transferred to a new owner after they have first been offered to Sun Resorts shareholders. The ruling acknowledges that the blocking-regulation has not been strictly obeyed with the transfer of the shares. “The transfer of shares to ECI has been flawed and was invalid.”

However, the court furthermore ruled that Ansary’s company Parman has guaranteed the ownership of the shares in several agreements. “These guarantees have been acknowledged by Sun Resorts and they signed for it,” the ruling states.

The court ruled that ECI acted in good faith when it acquired the shares and that it could rightly assume that the blocking-regulation had been respected. “The risk for not living up to the blocking-regulation lies with Sun Resorts,” the court ruled.

It furthermore points out that Parman stated in its 2010 annual account that all shares in Sun Resorts had been sold to ECH (Ennia Caribe Holding) and that the annual accounts of Sun Resorts for the years 2011-2015 confirm that ECI is its largest shareholder. In its own annual account, ECI claims that it owns 93.3 percent of the shares.

Ansary registered on June 18, 1985, as the statutory director of Sun Resorts with the Chamber of Commerce. Since 2011 he was the company’s only statutory director. Ansary holds 77.1 percent of the shares in Parman of which he is a statutory director. Parman is a shareholder of Ennia Caribe Holding.

Between 2005 and 2011 there was a flurry of share-transfers between Parman, Banco di Caribe, Ennia Caribe Holding and Ennia Caribe Investments.

Sun Resorts has one asset: Mullet Bay in St. Maarten. Since 2010 Mullet Bay represents more than 50 percent of Ennia’s assets, though the value of the property has been heavily manipulated. In the Sun Resorts books, Mullet Bay has a value of $436 million, but an appraisal ordered by the Central Bank and executed by Cushman & Wakefield and Jones Lang LaSalle showed the realistic value to be just $35 million.

After ECI called a special shareholders meeting of Sun Resorts in August whereby Ansary was fired as statutory director and replaced by Miguel Alexander and Geomaly A.G. Martes, the Houston based Iranian-American businessman hit back by calling his own shareholders meeting where he reappointed himself and reinstalled Ralph Palm and Clarence Derby as statutory directors.

Ansary asked the court, among other things, to order that ECI and ECH publish a press release stating that they have unjustly presented themselves as shareholder of Sun Resorts and that Ansary, Palm and Derby are the lawful directors. The court dismissed this demand.


Related links:
Column: The Golden Key scam
Read more: Mullet Bay dossier