Investors in the failed west Auckland Nido retail business are getting 14 per cent of their original funds back after the vast retail building's sale settled a few days ago.
Jodi Tuffin, investor relations manager for Maat Group in charge of the scheme, wrote to investors yesterday saying a "capital repayment being 14 per cent" was being made.
"As advised at the meeting, the settlement for the sale of the property took place last Friday, October 29. We have now received the funds through from our solicitor and have completed the calculation of the return of capital for each investor," Tuffin wrote.
She thanked people for attending the October 29 AGM of Central Park Property Investment, the vehicle which raised money for the property scheme.
"Your remittance advice was formally posted today for the capital repayment, being 14.18 per cent of your capital introduced, plus the tax refund/tax owed from the 2020-2021 year," Tuffin said.
Nido at 159 Central Park Dr shut after the pandemic and lack of popularity took its toll.
Tuffin indicated investors could get more money soon.
"Any residual funds will be distributed at a later date, following the wash-up of various transactions which have not been finalised," she wrote.
One investor feared today he might lose 86 per cent because he is not hopeful of getting any more than the 14 per cent he received.
"We have received 14 per cent of our [original] investment yesterday. Put another way, we have [potentially] lost 85.77 per cent of our investment," the investor complained.
Investors put around $35m into the building and financier Pearlfisher loaned a further $25m but that loan climbed to $35m, partly due to the 21 per cent interest being charged which included penalties and fees.
Pearlfisher is partly owned by Jarden and it called a mortgagee sale to recover short-term financing.
Investors expressed disappointment about the situation, particularly the punitive interest rate. Some said they had not read the fine print when they invested and had no idea such a high interest rate would be charged.
But a Pearlfisher spokesman said earlier this year: "As first mortgagee funder of the land and buildings where the Nido store was built, Pearlfisher Capital's loan was made to Everest Capital Investments which was part of Central Park Property Investment. Central Park lodged a product disclosure statement with this offering being independently promoted by Maat Group."
Pearlfisher's relationship was with Everest Central Investments and its directors, the spokesperson said.
Tony Abraham, a director of Pearlfisher, said in March: "We have no direct relationship with the entity that has invested the capital into the borrower entity. That relationship is between MAAT and Central Park Property Investment."
An investor said that from a previous communication, it was estimated that Pearlfisher would be owed $35m at the end of May this year. This included the original loan, costs to complete the building and interest to that date, he said.
Neil Tuffin of Maat said a few months ago that the business was "deeply sympathetic to the investors who, like us, shared the Nido vision. We are very appreciative of all the support which we have received from investors and apologise for the end vision not being achieved.
"We are in close contact with Pearlfisher to seek to maximise investor returns from the sale. We are also working with the liquidators of Vinod Kumar's entities to see if there is any recourse against Mr Kumar personally for the losses the investors will suffer. We will report on that separately and provide more details on the project investors' returns when we know more," Tuffin wrote around May.
He also referred to the 13 other property investment schemes which Maat has arranged for investors and continued to manage.
Property records show Everest Central Investment still owns the Nido building. The title transfer is yet to appear in data bases. Speculation amongst property circles is that a glass business has bought the business but that has not been confirmed.