Simon Herbert settles Queen St property wrangle

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Proceedings to pursue the debt were due to start at Auckland’s High Court today but were withdrawn because settlement was reached confidentially over the weekend.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.

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7 Comments & Questions

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Well done Mr Winter, Oyster investors should congratulate you for your persistence and chasing Mr Herbert, who it would seem was less than straight on that particular transaction.

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Bud - i agree but that said you gotta love the lax NZ laws and that you can delay for 5 years and then settle on the steps - another example of flouting in a big way. or smart on the part of Mr Herbert? lol

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What's wrong with good 'ol caveat emptor....... or is this also now in the winger's PC basket?

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Caveat emptor is fine when everyone tells the truth - I have been through enough due diligence processes to know that not everyone tells the truth, that is why SAP agreements have warranties. Mr Herbert would have been asked to disclose all he knew about the tenant and it would seem that he did not come clean. Under that scenario Oyster have every right to have a go at him. If they asked the question and Herbert told them the truth ie "I know this tenant is about to go tits up" and they still decided to go ahead then Caveat Emptor rules.

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Bud - i agree but that said you gotta love the lax NZ laws and that you can delay for 5 years and then settle on the steps - another example of flouting in a big way. or smart on the part of Mr Herbert? lol

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Bud - i agree but that said you gotta love the lax NZ laws and that you can delay for 5 years and then settle on the steps - another example of flouting in a big way. or smart on the part of Mr Herbert? lol

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All the caveat'ing in the world may fail when dealing with people who are prepared to lie through their teeth and withhold information.

As we see all the time the law is pretty ineffectual in dealing with those who stall and drag their feet for years as a tactic to wear down the opposition.

I hasten to add these are general observations.

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