27 Sep 2011

Sale of Serepisos properties tipped

3:08 pm on 27 September 2011

Wellington businessman Terry Serepisos is expected to lose his property empire in the wake of his bankruptcy.

The former owner of the Phoenix football club was declared bankrupt in the High Court on Monday, owing creditors an estimated $230 million.

Mr Serepisos says his property portfolio of residential and commercial buildings is worth more than $230 million.

Lowndes Associates insolvency specialist Mike Whale says it is likely most properties have been secured with personal guarantees, which means they can be sold to settle Mr Serepisos' debts as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan says lenders will probably also have contracts allowing asset sales to recoup loans in the event of bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy was sought by South Canterbury Finance and Equitable Mortgages, who are owed about $30 million and are themselves in liquidation.

Both are covered by the Government's deposit guarantee which means the Government will repay investors.

Prime Minister John Key says it is doubtful that debts owed by Mr Serepisos will be fully recovered.

He says it is too early to quantify the losses incurred by taxpayers.