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UPDATED: Official Assignee to oppose lifting Serepisos's bankruptcy


The arrest throws into doubt whether the developer will be discharged as a bankrupt next month

Victoria Young and Paul McBeth
Tue, 23 Sep 2014

UPDATED 12PMThe Official Assignee has filed papers in the High Court opposing the automatic discharge of high-profile property developer Terry Serepisos from bankruptcy next month.

The government agency, which administers all bankruptcies, filed a notice in the High Court in Wellington objecting to the lifting of Serepisos's bankruptcy, a spokesman said in an emailed statement.

"This means that he will not be automatically discharged from his bankruptcy when he becomes eligible for discharge on 7 October 2014 (being three years from the date he filed his Statement of Affairs)," the spokesman said. "As the matter is now before the court it is inappropriate for the Official Assignee to provide any further comment."

The objection was filed before Serepisos's arrest yesterday at Wellington International Airport at the behest of the Inland Revenue Department, which Fairfax Media reported as being over unpaid child support. Serepisos appeared at the Family Court in Wellington today.

The high-profile property developer, who was forced to relinquish his licence for the Wellington Phoenix Football club in Australia's A-League as his creditors circled in 2011, was adjudged bankrupt in September 2011 on application from South Canterbury Finance over a $22.5 million debt . He had failed to win a four-day reprieve to try to secure a US$20 million facility from a Hong Kong-based merchant bank.

At the time of his bankruptcy, his portfolio of about 150 residential properties and more than six commercial buildings was valued at $232.5 million with debts totalling $204 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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UPDATED 11AM : Bankrupt property developer Terry Serepisos told media outside court today his arrest was over child support. 

Mr Serepisos was arrested at Wellington Airport last night at the request of Inland Revenue after reportedly holidaying in Greece. 

The former Apprentice star said the arrest seemed to relate to unpaid child support for his 19-year old son. He claimed the arrest was over the top. 

While Mr Serepisos confirmed he was permitted by authorities to leave the country, NBR ONLINE is yet to receive further detail from the Official Assignee. 

Meanwhile, the Dominion Post is reporting that a hearing will take place this morning. The registrar said given the nature of the matter court will be closed unless media applications are made. 

The arrest throws into doubt whether the developer will be discharged as a bankrupt next month. 

The high-flying Wellingtonian is known for being the former owner of the capital’s football club the Phoenix, and starring in New Zealand’s version of The Apprentice.

At the time of Mr Serepisos’ bankruptcy in 2011 his portfolio of about 150 residential properties and more than six commercial buildings was valued at $232.5 million with debts totalling $204 million.

An IRD spokeswoman said department could not comment yet due to customer confidentiality.

Victoria Young and Paul McBeth
Tue, 23 Sep 2014
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UPDATED: Official Assignee to oppose lifting Serepisos's bankruptcy
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