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Serepisos bankruptcy bid on hold until Friday

Serepisos bankruptcy bid on hold until Friday as snow stalls negotiations

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 15 (BusinessDesk) – Wellington property developer and Phoenix owner Terry Serepisos will face bankruptcy proceedings on Friday after yesterday’s snow flurries stalled finalising an agreement with his creditors.

Counsel for creditor FM Custodians Ltd., Dianne Lester, asked Associate Judge David Gendall for a brief adjournment in the High Court in Wellington today so “further matters can be discussed” after yesterday’s snowstorm held up a settlement.

“Agreement has been reached and Mr Serepisos has performed the terms” though the unavailability of his creditor meant the deal couldn’t be finalised by the time court was sitting, Chris Chapman, Serepisos’ lawyer, told the court.

Judge Gendall adjourned the hearing until Friday morning “to review the position of an agreed proposed settlement.”

The supporting creditors, including South Canterbury Finance Ltd., had no objection to the delay.

The reprieve is the second for Serepisos, who had this bankruptcy bid pushed out for a month to try and reach a deal after failing to quash the proceedings in May.

Judge Gendall said at the July 18 hearing that the postponement would also give the creditors time to assess the value of Serepisos’ assets.

FM Custodians is trying to claw back the remaining $5 million owed on some $6.8 million of loans personally guaranteed by Serepisos. The outstanding balance is accruing annual interest of 17.25%.

The lender has already forced mortgagee sales on several properties and expects there may be a shortfall in excess of $2.3 million, the May judgement said.


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