Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich has sold all his shares in two Waiwera businesses, leaving his American associate Leon Fingerhut in full control, according to official New Zealand records.
Companies Office information shows Khimich no longer owns any shares in Waiwera Thermal Resort, now fully in the hands of Ordover Trust of Las Vegas. The share transfer took place on Thursday last week and Khimich is now listed as a former shareholder but he remains a director.
Similarly, the records show Thursday's share transfer at Waiwera Water New Zealand with Khimich now listed as a former shareholder. Khimich again remains a director. Again, Ordover now owns all the shares in the business.
Ordover's address is given on the Companies Office register as 848 North Rainbow Boulevard in Las Vegas, the same as Fingerhut's home address.
The pools were shut in February for renovations which stalled weeks ago. The landowner has complained that payments have been erratic in the past two years.
In late October, landowner Waiwera Properties cancelled the lease and changed the locks on the doors at Waiwera Thermal Resort after a history of default payments.
The land has been used as the site for the Waiwera Thermal Resort and Waiwera Thermal Bottling plant, both of which fall under the Waiwera Group owned by Khimich and Fingerhut.
Khimich's company bought the leasehold interest in the property in 2010. WPL project director Evan Vertue said last month he did not welcome the move but the company was left with no other option but to cancel the lease.
"We have reluctantly re-entered the premises due to continual tenant default and consider this option a last resort."
Vertue said the defaults dated back as far as two years, and it was unclear why bills were unpaid.
The businesses on the site were closed earlier this year for refurbishments, but Vertue said there had been no activity on the site since early September.