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A $2 million debt chase involving socialite property developer Simon Herbert was settled out of court at the eleventh hour, Without a Word of a Lie has learned.
Mr Herbert was being pursued for the money by property investor 246 Investments after its 2006 purchase of the Mr Herbert’s retail and office building at 246 Queen St soured.
246 Investments, which manages the property syndicate Oyster Group, told NBR of its claim the building’s key tenant was insolvent at the time of purchase.
Director Mark Winter said that was “inappropriately disguised from us”.
Proceedings to pursue the debt were due to start at Auckland’s High Court today but were withdrawn because settlement was reached confidentially over the weekend.
Although neither party would discuss terms of the settlement, Mr Winter said he was happy with the agreement reached.
The 896sq m Queen St building housed eight floors of offices above street-level retail space, anchored by footwear retailer Foot Locker.
Earlier this year, Mr Herbert and his wife Paula - crowned Mrs New Zealand in 2009 - paid $9 million for their Remuera Rd mansion, previously owned by John Sanders and sold as part of a bitter divorce settlement with his former wife Yvonne.
NBR Rich Lister David Richwhite previously owned the home.
Mr Herbert’s Empire Trust owns the 430-berth Bayswater Marina on Auckland’s North Shore. His multi-million dollar plan to build 250 apartments and develop a café and retail space on reclaimed waterfront at the site were canned by the Environment Court in 2009.
Mr Herbert’s other business interests include Empire Publishing, which launched real estate industry advertising magazine Property Book in 2008.