The founder and developer of New Zealand's biggest furniture store has told suppliers that his building company cannot pay them, is seeking to refinance and begging them not to sue.
Vinod Kumar, a director of Vijay Holdings which built the new Nido store in Henderson, sent a letter to creditors saying he had financial issues and "we won't be able to pay the balance promptly but over time that is certainly the intention".
Daran Nair and Heiko Draht of Greenlane Chartered Accountants were appointed liquidators of Vijay Holdings at the request of shareholders on November 6.
Kumar told the Herald today: "The construction company has existed for 22 years and done $122 million of work. It's so disappointing for us."
Vijay is no longer in a position to pay creditors until it refinanced and one attempt had already failed, Kumar told creditors in the letter.
"By taking any legal steps currently jeopardises our refinancing," he added.
"We also have $3m work to complete the carpark and remaining works on the building. We would appreciate your kindness once more and in true Kiwi spirit, seek your extended support so that we can complete the project and proudly call it our own, home-grown world-class shopping experience. I know you may feel angry and let down. But trust me, I have not taken on this project to come this far and give up," he wrote.
Creditors complained to the Herald today they were owed $300,000 for construction and scaffolding work. They had staff to pay and had families to take care of and were desperate for the money, they said.
They had been waiting weeks and were initially told money would be partly paid but instead liquidation was suddenly announced which shocked and surprised them.
Kumar said today: "It's like any other construction company. It was getting tougher with delays and rising costs. My heart is saying one day it will look good. It's just the timing. It's not good on me or my family."
Asked if the Nido retail business was in any financial peril or at risk, he said: "I'm not an accountant but if what we are talking about comes off, it's not."
Kumar refused to say how much Vijay owed creditors or how many creditors were owed money but did reveal he had called in the liquidators Greenlane Chartered Accountants and their appointment was not made by a creditor.
Nair declined to supply any details of the liquidation, saying it would be in his first report, yet to be issued.