Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
2 mins to read

Serepisos lives another day - but sword of Damocles hangs

Embattled property developer Terry Serepisos fails his Apprentice-style challenge to find $4 million in three days. 

Matt Nippert
Thu, 10 Mar 2011

Terry Serepisos has survived this morning's liquidation proceedings held in Wellington High Court.

On Monday, the court delivered the embattled property developer an Apprentice-style challenge, giving him three days to find $4 million - owed to IRD and ACC by companies in Mr Serepisos' Century City Group.

Proceedings began in dramatic fashion with Mr Serepisos' lawyer Justin Toebes requesting a 10-minute adjournment to confirm a payment had been made.

This short adjournment was granted, and after the break Mr Toebes announced he was seeking a further four-week delay to proceedings. Lawyers for Inland Revenue and ACC did not oppose the request,. The IRD's Rocky Meng said the department had received a letter from Western Gulf Advisory that gave it some confidence Mr Serepisos might receive his $US100 million loan.

Mr Meng told the court the dramatic late payment was not made to the IRD, but rather was to companies connected with Mr Serepisos.

Mr Toebes made an application to seal the entire court file, but this was rejected by associate judge Gendall.

"These matters are relatively high profile amters and have been the subeject of substantial comment in the media to date. In a sense it may be said that 'the horse has bolted,'" he said.

Associate judge Gendall instead vetted the files personally, keeping much of the material in the public domain. 

On Monday Mr Meng said the IRD had requested information from WGA and, after receiving no reply, said the likelihood of the loan provider rescuing Mr Serepisos' Century City group was "not promising."

Both parties agreed Mr Serepisos' companies would immediate pay their PAYE bill as they became due from today. Otherwise the plaintiff could bring forward liquidation proceedings with only 24 hours' notice.

Associate Judge Gendall adjourned the hearing until April 18, noted there were still doubts about WGA, and said he would tolerate no further delays.

No WGA money - sources
Sources within the Serepisos camp told NBR no money had come through from WGA, and hopes were dimming this loan would come through, but the extra time granted in court today would allow other funding avenues to be explored. 

Matt Nippert
Thu, 10 Mar 2011
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Serepisos lives another day - but sword of Damocles hangs