Property editor of the NZ Herald

Stonewood has 110 unfinished houses

A Stonewood - built home in Wanganui.
A Stonewood - built home in Wanganui.

Receivers of the master franchisor for one of New Zealand's largest house builders say 110 houses are unfinished, unsecured creditors are owed about $15 million and they hope to sell the business which employs 85 staff.

Christchurch-headquartered Stonewood Homes is now in the hands of receivers Grant Graham and Neale Jackson of KordaMentha and Graham's statement revealed more details of the situation.

"Stonewood Homes Ltd currently has 110 houses in various stages of construction. We are mindful that this an anxious time for the owners of these homes and that they want to know where to from here. Therefore we are working as quickly as possible to conclude a detailed status review of each build. This will take time to complete but we believe we will be able to update owners on progress by the end of this week," Graham said.

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He also gave more details about the financial situation with the business whose founder and managing director is Christchurch's Brent Mettrick.

"While it is very early in the process for us, we are aware that prior to receivership, a company recapitalisation process was well advanced. We are hopeful that this interest can be converted into a sale of the business and assets in the short term. Clearly, this would be in the best interests of all affected parties including the 85 staff," Graham said.


The statement also explained how much was owed to unsecured creditors who include sub-trades and various Christchurch businesses which have worked on Stonewood places: "Mr Graham also noted that in addition to the companies' secured debt, unsecured creditors are understood to be owed approximately $15 million."

A Stonewood Homes- built house in Carterton.
A Stonewood Homes- built house in Carterton.

However, no details have been released yet about secured creditors which could include banks.

As of yesterday, three business are in the KordaMentha men's hands. They are master franchisor of the Stonewood Group Stonewood New Zealand Ltd and two sister companies: Stonewood Homes Ltd Sterling Homes Ltd.

The receiverships do not affect any of the other independently owned or franchised Stonewood businesses which operate throughout New Zealand.

KordaMentha said its appointment was requested "by the companies' director".

Companies Office records show this to be Brent Alfred Mettrick.

Those records now also show the changed status of the three companies involved.
The first full insight into what happened will emerge on April 27. The receivers will then issue their first report, followed by a six-monthly report due on October 13.

However Graham indicated in his latest letter that more would be revealed much earlier than that.

"We intend to communicate with creditors in the next 48 hours, once an accurate picture of the companies' financial position is ascertained," he said.

- NZ Herald

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