$25.5m sought from sale of Serepisos' HQ

By Paul McBeth for BusinessDesk

Terry Serepisos. File photo / NZPA
Terry Serepisos. File photo / NZPA

ANZ National Bank, the country's biggest lender, is seeking to recover $25.2 million from the sale of bankrupt Wellington property developer Terry Serepisos' former headquarters.

Receivers for Century City Investments, Barry Jordan and David Vance, who were appointed by the bank on Sept. 30, have put ASB Bank Tower up for sale in a public tender being jointly managed by Colliers International and CBRE.

The building was valued at $34.2 million in 2009, though the receivers have withheld an independent valuation report they commissioned since the date of their appointment. Tenders for the building close on Dec. 6.

"If a satisfactory sale cannot be achieved, the receivers will discuss with ANZ National other options which may include updating the tenancy profile and completing the deferred maintenances and capital works before repeating the sale process later in 2012,'' the receivers said in their first report.

The receivership followed Serepisos' bankruptcy in October, when he failed to convince the High Court in Wellington to give him more time to try to secure new funding from a Hong Kong-based investment bank.

The receivers said the Century City unit had been in financial difficulty for at least two years, and due to loan defaults, had entered into a 'lockbox' arrangement where CB Richard Ellis was responsible for collecting rental income and paying all expenses relating to the building's operation. Surplus funds were transferred into a bank account nominated by ANZ National.

The bank holds a first mortgage over the building, and the first ranked creditor. Allied Farmers Investments, the vehicle which absorbed the toxic Hanover Finance loan book, held a second mortgage over the property and is owed $4.3 million.

In August, Serepisos was granted an adjournment to put forward a proposal to creditors that would sell down his property portfolio in an orderly fashion, in a bid to meet the total $204 million owed to his lenders. That plan was later scotched when the property developer sought new funding.

The portfolio, made up of some 150 residential properties and more than six commercial buildings, was valued at $232.5 million.

- BusinessDesk

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