Mainzeal's wealthy US pallbearers revealed

Questions surround what role wealthy US investors played in the downfall of New Zealand's third-biggest construction company.

A group of investors known as the Richina consortium, headed by Richard Yan, acquired Mainzeal Property & Construction in 1995.

The group includes:

  • Richard Rainwater, a Texas billionaire dealmaker credited with orchestrating former US president George W Bush's fortune through the Texas Rangers baseball club.
  • His wife, Darla Moore, was once dubbed the "toughest babe in business" by Fortune Magazine.
  • And the Ziff family, who have amassed a $US12 billion publishing empire.

In today's new-look National Business Review print edition, business editor Duncan Bridgeman reports there is a suspicion the US investors had more to do with Mainzeal pulling the plug than Mr Yan, whose Richina shareholding has not been disclosed.

Tellingly, PwC's initial press release about the Mainzeal receivership says: "In the absence of further shareholder support, the company could no longer continue trading."

A source tells NBR: "The Americans definitely still have the lion's share of Richina.

"They are passive investors but wield a lot more power than is being portrayed."

Elsewhere in the NBR print edition, subcontractors are calling for an overhaul of the retention payments system in the wake of Mainzeal's collapse.

Meanwhile, another story details how GFNZ Group, formerly Geneva Finance, is back in the market seeking new investors – to help it pay old investors.

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