Wellington businessman and former Phoenix football owner Terry Serepisos has been declared bankrupt in the High Court at Wellington after his last-minute bid for more time to pay debts was rejected.
Judge Gendall granted an application by South Canterbury Finance, owed some $22.5 million, to declare Serepisos bankrupt after he failed to convince the court to grant him four more days to secure funding from a Hong Kong-based merchant bank.
It's also been revealed this afternoon that access has been blocked to
Terry Serepisos's Century City headquarters in Wellington's ASB Bank Tower.
Employees told Newstalk ZB they have work to do and don't want the public or reporters to bother them.
They deny reports the area has been cleared of furniture.
Serepisos owes creditors $203 million and had been selling his assets to try to meet his large debts.
South Canterbury Finance took over the bankruptcy application on August 18 after FM Custodians withdrew its bid saying its debt had been settled.
Serepisos's lawyer was trying to get an extra four days grace to secure a loan from an unnamed merchant bank in Hong Kong.
However Associate Judge Gendall says there wasn't sufficient evidence to show the money would arrive or that it would cover the debt.
He also said when he adjourned the case last time, it was so creditors could consider a proposal to sell off Serepisos' property empire and that never went ahead.
He said it was in the interests of the wider commercial community to bankrupt Serepisos.
Last month, Serepisos was granted 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 entirety of the $204 million owed to his lenders.
The portfolio, made up of some 150 residential properties and more than six commercial buildings, was valued at $232.5 million.
The businessman has been selling off his assets over the last month and parted with a Ferrari car in the weekend.
The Ferrari F430 F1, set apart by a distinctive body and sharknose-like bumper, was sold in an auction for $204,500 on Saturday.
The judgment comes just days after Serepisos lost control of the Wellington Phoenix football club, which has been taken over by a group of Wellington businessmen.
A consortium of seven businessmen took over the team with a five-year contract on Friday.
The Welnix group is chaired by Kiwibank boss Rob Morrison and includes investor Gareth Morgan, Campbell Gower, Lloyd Morrison, Henry Tait, James Brow and Lib Petagna.
Creditors have also claimed possession of Serepisos' clothes and furniture.