The renewable companies linked to José María García Urbano, popular mayor of Estepona, and his trusted councilor, Salvador Pedraza, have changed ownership this summer, shortly after obtaining favorable permits from the Andalusian Government to install more than 200 megawatts ( MW) photovoltaic in that autonomous community.
A Luxembourg company linked to the mayor of Estepona shares a real estate property with the owner of Algarrobico
The owner of these projects, Bestard España Inversiones SL, has passed into the hands of a firm managed by businesswoman Mayte García, CEO of a Valencian renewables company, Sinne Energy, and known for having been the wife of the former Valencia CF goalkeeper. and Real Madrid Santiago Cañizares.
García has been managing the company that Bestard has bought since July. He replaced Luis Gregorio González Valero in that position, a businessman convicted of a corruption case of the Andalusian PP who holds positions in several Sinne Energy companies.
elDiario.es reported in May that three companies owned by Bestard, then managed by Estepona PP councilor Salvador Pedraza, already have favorable permits from the government of Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla to install five solar parks totaling 232 MW of power in the provinces. from Malaga, Cádiz and Granada.
The latest authorizations were signed by PP officials on the Board at the end of April. A few days later, this medium revealed that a network of companies around the mayor of Estepona, his councilor and the Selfas, a family of builders on the Costa del Sol, were processing about a dozen photovoltaic parks with at least 420 MW in Andalusia .
All these companies were owned by Bestard, until May Salvador Pedraza appeared as sole administrator. The dismissal of the PP councilor was published in the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry on May 22, four days after this medium informed Bestard of the existence of these permits.
This PP councilor in Estepona, economist and tax adviser, was number three of the PP on the list headed by García Urbano in the municipal elections on May 28. Pedraza, of the highest confidence of the mayor, is not attached to any council.
With these valuable permits already under its belt, Bestard España Inversiones SL has changed hands, in a very common movement in the renewable energy business: the sale of papers, in the jargon of the sector, by companies without the capacity to face a investment of tens of millions, as they obtain administrative authorizations.
According to the Mercantile Registry, Bestard has just moved its registered office from Estepona (Málaga) to a flat in the center of Valencia, after passing into the hands of another company in July, Energías Leon 2019 SL. The sole administrator of the latter is Tomson Electric SL, based in Madrid.
In July, Mayte García Salom, CEO of Sinne Energy, was named sole administrator of Tomson Electric, according to his LinkedIn. The businesswoman replaced Luis Gregorio González Valero in that position. The latter, who appears as a proxy in several Sinne Energy companies, such as Increase Connectivity SL, Bring Nature Back SL or Go Beyond Something SL, has a dark judicial past: he was convicted in what is known as the ‘Matinsreg case’, which became known as the largest corrupt plot in Jaén.
The case takes its name from Matinsreg, a company from Toro (Zamora) of which González Valero was the sole owner and administrator. After being awarded the maintenance of the ornamental fountains and traffic lights in Jaén, and through a plot of false invoices, Matinsreg received inflated payments for chemical products as a contractor for the Jaen City Council. In July 2021, the Provincial Court of Jaén estimated the economic loss for the municipal coffers at 3.4 million for these irregular payments, made in 2012 and 2013.
For this case, the former popular mayor of Jaén and former Secretary of State for Finance, José Enrique Fernández Moya, came to sit on the bench, who ended up acquitted. Seven of the nine defendants were convicted, including González Valero and two PP councillors. The owner of Matinsreg, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office requested seven years in prison, acknowledged the facts before the oral trial and deposited 1 million euros in court to compensate the damages. He was sentenced by the Court to two years, ten months and 15 days in prison for a continuous crime of falsehood and another of embezzlement.
In January of this year, the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) reduced González Valero’s sentence to one year and ten months in jail and three years of absolute disqualification. The sentence annulled the sentence for embezzlement of public funds imposed in the first instance on one of the two former PP councilors convicted, the former ‘number two’ of the popular Jaén Miguel Ángel García Anguita.
elDiario.es contacted Domotec, one of the companies in León managed by González Valero and which is still active, to try to ask this businessman about his relationship with Bestard and Sinne Energy. The latter has not responded to calls and messages from this medium. At Domotec they assure that they have not heard from the former owner of Matinsreg for years.
According to the Mercantile Registry, González Valero was the sole administrator of Tomsom Electric, the company that has come to manage Bestard, until July 4, although his resignation was published a week later. His replacement, García Salom, appears linked to numerous renewable companies. Among them, several from Matrix Renewables, from the TPG fund, which denies any relationship with Bestard or Tomson Electric. “We share advice in some companies with Teresa García Salom”, they indicate from Matrix.
Asked about Bestard’s connection to PP charges in Andalusia and the presence of a person convicted of corruption of this party in Sinne Energy companies, Mayte García did not comment. Niece of the transport businessman Rafael Salom, former vice-president of Valencia CF, García is also listed, among other renewable companies, in the Corral Nuevo Wind Farm, where he is a proxy together with the businessman convicted in the Matinsreg case and the lawyer Concepción Montserrat Castillejo Gómez.
In charge of a business consultancy in Valencia, Castillejo, a former director of the now-defunct developer Astroc (of Enrique Bañuelos), a symbol of the real estate bubble, is the daughter of Concha Gómez Ocaña, who was the Autonomous Secretary of Education of the Generalitat with the PP of Francisco Camps, between 2007 and 2011. In addition to Astroc, Castillejo, who has not answered calls from elDiario.es, also worked at Ràdio Televisió Valenciana. There she was the right hand of the then president of the board of directors of the public entity, Emilio Fernández, appointed at the proposal of the PP.
The name Bestard refers to Bestard International, one of the companies in Luxembourg of the Selfa family in which the Spanish company Resina de la Mairena SL, created in December by the mayor of Estepona and Councilor Pedraza.
The Estepona City Council, which has declined to respond to elDiario.es, explained a few months ago that the link with that Luxembourg company of the mayor and his councilor is explained because they are mere “executors” of the Selfas after the death of the patriarch, the promoter Enrique Selfa, and his son, Ricardo Selfa, who died in August 2022 at the age of 56.
The latter’s widow, the Bulgarian Stanislava Vasileva Georgieva, went on to manage Bestard Spain last May, replacing councilor Pedraza. She was only in that position for a few weeks, until she was replaced by Tomson Electric.
After the death of Ricardo Selfa and his son, in December 2022 the Spanish company Resina de la Mairena became a shareholder in two companies in Luxembourg that manage almost 60 million in assets, many of them real estate on the Costa del Sol. They also have a stake in a developer in Marbella together with the controversial builder José Domingo Rodríguez Losada.
This promoter, known for being the owner of the illegal hotel in Algarrobico (Almería), has important interests in Estepona and has been linked to former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, the Astapa scandal or the start of the Gürtel in the west of Madrid .