$1m owing in liquidation of former Serepisos tower owner

The IRD tipped Sams Bay Holdings into liquidation in April claiming about $46,000 in unpaid tax.

The entity of a Wellington lawyer which bought formerly bankrupted property developer Terry Serepisos’ Wellington office tower for $22 million owes nearly $1 million to creditors.

But the liquidator is yet to receive requested company records, while legal action against an unnamed supplier has been adjourned for a month.

Last December, NBR revealed  BNZ was seeking to recover “substantial” amounts from Wellington property investor and solicitor Mike Garnham, as well as other companies and entities associated with him.

The approximately $6 million sum relates to various loans that expired or were called up in late 2014, for which the bank says the defendants have no reasonably arguable defence.

Mr Garnham had personally guaranteed loans to Michael Spackman, his father-in-law, who it later emerged was the trustee seller for Mr Garnham of a stretch of the Awaroa beach in Abel Tasman, which was bought following a highly publicised crowdfunding campaign to return it to public ownership.

BNZ’s summary judgment application was heard in the High Court at Wellington in February, having been opposed by the respondents.

One of Mr Garnham’s entities in the firing line was Sams Bay Holdings, which bought Mr Serepisos’ former ASB Tower in Wellington from receivers for $22 million.

Last year, Sams Bay Holdings sold the tower to The Hunter Ltd, an entity associated with Wellington developer Mark Dunajtschik, for $20.25 million.

Sams Bay Holdings was in April put into liquidation on application by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, which was demanding payment of about $46,000.

But the first liquidator's report from Deloitte, released yesterday, reveals the entity owes creditors nearly $1 million.

It says discussions have been held with the director but company records that were requested have not been received.

Bank accounts with BNZ and ANZ, the latter overdrawn, have been frozen, while the liquidators estimate secured creditor claims at $938,000.

The report also says Sams Bay Holdings has instigated legal proceedings against an unnamed supplier in the Wellington District Court.

This alleges the company breached contractual obligations relating to maintenance services, which is denied and being defended.

That matter was adjourned until next month by mutual consent, however.

“We will review the documents pertaining to the litigation the company instigated and determine the basis of the claims made,” Deloitte says.

A decision from BNZ’s summary judgment application against Mr Garnham is yet to be released.

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