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Fontein loses $94m bankruptcy battle

Patrick Fontein lost his fight against bankruptcy yesterday – sunk by debt of close to $94 million from his failed Kensington Park development.He was bankrupted at the High Court at Auckland following an application from the BNZ, owed $28 million.Th

Georgina Bond
Tue, 23 Nov 2010

Patrick Fontein lost his fight against bankruptcy yesterday – sunk by debt of close to $94 million from his failed Kensington Park development.

He was bankrupted at the High Court at Auckland following an application from the BNZ, owed $28 million.

The bank was among 45 creditors owed just under $94 million, largely from the housing development in Orewa.

Those in support of BNZ’s bankruptcy application included Allied Workforce (owed $112,050), Carters ($281,526), Fleet Partners ($58,300), Fidelity ($21 million), Orix New Zealand, ($50,414), Southern Cross Building Society ($4,418,000).

The judgment, from associate judge John Faire, came on the same day as Fontein’s fellow property developer Andrew Krukziener bought himself more time in his fight against bankruptcy.

Mr Krukziener, who owes $47 million, withdrew his application for High Court approval of plans to repay creditors $350,000 over four-and-a-half years – opposed in chief by the Inland Revenue, which claimed it was owed $6.67 million.

The indebted property developer has decided to take his chances on securing an informal creditors’ proposal, and has three weeks to do so, or be adjudicated bankrupt.

Fontein 's Kensington Park was sold to fellow property developer and NBR Rich Lister John Sax for $20 million in June 2009.

The court hear Fontein, 45, was still working a property consultant, of which Downer New Zealand was a large client, and had more work than he could cope with.

He remained the sole director and guarantor of the Kensington Group of companies – two of which are in receivership, and the sole director of Huka Falls – also in receivership and liquidation.

In his judgment, Judge Faire noted the considerable support for Fontein in the affidavits filed, but said the adjudication was no ordinary bankruptcy, given the substantial size of the debt arising from property development activity that Fontein was driving.

“Those who are involved in undertakings which carry risk have a potential to cause untold grief to the many who contract with them and who do not get paid and suffer the consequence of the ultimate collapse when it occurs.” 

Georgina Bond
Tue, 23 Nov 2010
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Fontein loses $94m bankruptcy battle
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