26 Sep 2011

Serepisos declared bankrupt

10:50 pm on 26 September 2011

Businessman Terry Serepisos has been declared bankrupt in the High Court in Wellington. He owes 27 creditors an estimated $230 million.

Mr Serepisos lost ownership of the Phoenix football team to a Wellington consortium on Friday.

On Monday morning his lawyer John Billington, QC, made a last-ditch effort to have proceedings adjourned until Friday.

Mr Billington told the court his client had been given a $US20 million loan from a Hong Kong-based merchant bank last week and needed until the end of this week to make sure the money had cleared in New Zealand.

But the lawyer for one of the creditors, South Canterbury Finance, which is owed nearly $22.5 million opposed the application, saying earlier promises to repay had not eventuated.

Justice Gendall rejected the application for an adjournment, saying it is in the interest of the commercial community that the matter no longer be delayed.

The judge said there was no proof the Hong Kong loan would refinance Mr Serepisos' debt entirely.