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Apprentice boss in cash crisis - Terry Serepisos

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  • Apprentice boss in cash crisis - Terry Serepisos

    Apprentice boss in cash crisis

    The Apprentice star Terry Serepisos is being chased by creditors and is struggling to pay about $2 million in unpaid rates and ground rents to Wellington City Council.

    A Dominion Post investigation has learnt that the council has met regularly with Mr Serepisos – but he has yet to settle the substantial debt.

    It is understood Mr Serepisos has told the council he is struggling to pay – and if the council takes action to recover the money it could jeopardise the Wellington Phoenix football franchise he owns. Mr Serepisos said yesterday that he had pumped a total of $5 million into the football club, which this week received a five-year extension to continue in the A-League.

    The Dominion Post has learnt the council has offered repeated extensions at meetings, which have included chief executive Garry Poole, amid growing concerns at the mounting debt.

    The council is believed to have already provided Mr Serepisos with extra time to pay his rates because senior staff fear potential repercussions for the Phoenix. It is also concerned that forcing Mr Serepisos' hand could lead to financial trouble for other organisations that do business with him.

    Though Mr Serepisos has made some payments in the past year, it is understood he owes about $2 million. Local councils have the legal ability to approach banks that hold a mortgage on a property to demand payment when the owner fails to do so.

    Mr Serepisos refused to discuss any aspect of his rates yesterday, saying it was "confidential". He said that, like any property developer, he had been affected by the recession: "There is a global crisis here, I am certainly not immune to the global crisis." He was owed "millions", including $450,000 in accommodation from the stalled movie Kingdom Come and $1.6m from a failed construction company.

    "People owing me money puts a strain on cashflow as well. It is a domino effect right across the board. If he can't pay you, you can't pay him, that sort of thing.

    "It is not just me, guys, it is the whole world. All I'm saying is I'm not immune to the global crisis. People owe me a lot of money."

    Mr Serepisos said he had spent vast sums promoting Wellington, bankrolling the Phoenix and working with several charities and the community.

    "I'm pouring in millions and millions of dollars to promote this city and doing all these things I do. And I feel a little disheartened that a handful of people are taking pot shots at me."

    Mr Serepisos owns several companies including 79 Manners Street Ltd, Century City Developments Ltd, Century City Ltd, Century City Football Ltd and New Millennium Design.
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    It has been reported that debts ranging from $158 to $71,000 related to those companies have been referred to a debt collection company and listed with a credit reporting agency.

    Figures obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act show that commercial ratepayers have unpaid bills to Wellington City Council of $5.6 million. The largest individual bill is $331,000.

    Three businesses are also $854,000 behind with ground lease payments, with one leaseholder owing the council $478,000.

    The council would not say who any of the ratepayers involved were. Mr Poole has refused to comment on any aspect of dealings with Mr Serepisos, citing privacy.

    The law gives councils priority over other creditors to retrieve outstanding rates when a property is sold. This does not extend to ground lease debt and councils have to wait in line with other creditors.

    Mr Poole said "a fair and equitable approach" was taken on the collection of rates and unpaid debts: "However, because every case is different, we also have the ability to negotiate payment with various debtors to ensure that all rates are paid in full."

    The council could also take legal enforcement action to retrieve money owed, Mr Poole said.

    A 10 per cent penalty is added to rates remaining unpaid after the due date. An additional 10 per cent is added to rates unpaid from previous financial years.

    Penalties for late payment of ground lease rentals depend on terms and conditions of each respective lease. Penalty payments ranged up to 18 per cent a year, Mr Poole said.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/indu...in-cash-crisis

  • #2
    yeah, seems a bit rich that he trashed someone from the show someone for flirting

    would have thought inability to pay your bills was more of a crime in the business world

    but then, a cynic would say

    a. it's because she wasn't flirting with him

    and

    b. it's very hard to get that rich that young without tossing all your debts and credits in the air and juggling them carefully to balance out

    and if you do that and your credits go bad

    you find your debts don't, you can't keep them all in the air and you start dropping a few

    at that stage the last thing you need is for someone to tie your hands

    cause then you drop the whole lot

    still it would be nice to see in the next episode where he "fires" someone for all the apprentices to turn on him and say, "no, you're fired, for not paying your bills"
    Last edited by eri; 24-04-2010, 08:24 PM.
    have you defeated them?
    your demons

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting that less than 12 months ago he was pictured smiling in a newspaper article entitled "Serepisos on top of the world amid downturn .While the recession has stalled other developments in the city, Terry Serepisos exudes confidence over his portfolio..."


      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/2434...-amid-downturn

      Either he was putting on a very brave face, or things have suddenly turned very bad.

      Anyway, for the sake of Wellington and the Phoenix lets hope things get better for him.

      He also has a plan to construct the tallest building in Wellington, which would be really amazing to see go ahead.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah he's done a lot for NZ football and the Phoenix games have contributed $$mm into the Wgn economy so here's hoping a deal can be done - umm maybe he sells something...(but not the Phoenix).

        As a side note....I prefer watching the Phoenix to the Super 14 or the ANZ netball - at least they are winners (not true for the NZ teams in S14 or the netball right now aye).

        Cheers,

        Donna
        SEARCH PropertyTalk, About PropertyTalk

        BusinessBlogs - the best business articles are found here

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        • #5
          This mornings pertinent question. (from Kiwiblog)
          BB
          “along with all the other ratepayers who do pay our rates.”
          Ahh yes…all the more reason to introduce a council or poll tax and do away with rates.
          Why is it that only property owners have to pay for facilities that every person in the community uses?


          My answer.

          Well because Phil Heatley won’t change it. I know cause I asked him as soon as he became Minister of housing.

          Comment


          • #6
            I hope Terry pulls himself out of this too. He seems to be one of those energetic types who builds great things.
            Squadly dinky do!

            Comment


            • #7
              Though Mr Serepisos has made some payments in the past year, it is understood he owes about $2 million. Local councils have the legal ability to approach banks that hold a mortgage on a property to demand payment when the owner fails to do so.
              YES BUT - been worth more then $100m and not paying his WCC rates is ridicules.
              sell an assets or two and pay your debt and move on.

              Over all I admire Terry's achievements but that's what I would do at it is not in proportion to the caliber.
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              • #8
                We always need to be careful about what we read on the net but the unpaid rates seems par for the course. Allegedly there are building contractors who do not view Mr Serepios with kindness.

                Its looking more and more like smoke and mirrors wealth.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Orkibi View Post
                  YES BUT - been worth more then $100m and not paying his WCC rates is ridicules.
                  sell an assets or two and pay your debt and move on.
                  I've seen his name in the real estate pages recently so I assume Terry has been furiously selling assets.
                  I, too, hope he gets over this hurdle - he's been wonderful for Wgtn and the Phoenix.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    He looks like a great guy, down to earth.
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                    • #11
                      Yep 'user pays' that's a good new discussion - I have started it off here.

                      cheers,

                      Donna
                      SEARCH PropertyTalk, About PropertyTalk

                      BusinessBlogs - the best business articles are found here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Terry Serepisos accused of bouncing cheques

                        Terry Serepisos accused of bouncing cheques

                        Two businessmen have accused Terry Serepisos, the troubled Wellington tycoon who dishes out business advice on TVNZ's The Apprentice, of bouncing cheques.

                        Consultant Philip Yong and construction company owner Maurice Clark said Mr Serepisos sent them cheques his bankers refused to honour.

                        Mr Clark said he had to go to court to get Mr Serepisos to pay him a $90,000 building bill. "I'll tell you his style," Mr Clark said.

                        "He says he will pay you and he doesn't. Then he sends you a cheque and it's not signed. Then he sends a signed cheque and it's backdated to Christmas Day.

                        "When you present the cheque to the bank, when it opens, it bounces. There were two cheques like that, one for $63,000 and the other around $7000."

                        But Mr Serepisos – the star of The Apprentice television show that mimics Donald Trump – said no cheques had bounced. He had "stopped" a cheque because there was a dispute with McKee-Fehl Constructors over air-conditioning work at his Petone IBM building.

                        When the dispute was resolved, McKee-Fehl received all their money, Mr Serepisos said.

                        On Saturday, The Dominion Post revealed Mr Serepisos has about $2 million outstanding in rates and ground rents he owes Wellington City Council.

                        Mr Serepisos refused to discuss his rates bills, saying they were "confidential between myself and the council".

                        He blamed his problems on the global recession and said other people owe him millions.

                        The investigation also revealed he owes money to subcontractors for work on his Tory St hotel and apartments including plumbing, joinery, window glazing and pool construction. Mr Serepisos said the bills were all disputed and he intends countersuing.

                        But two of the contractors said Mr Serepisos had never disputed the bills – he just had not paid them.

                        Building consultant Philip Yong, who worked on the Tory St complex, said Mr Serepisos owes him $60,000 and sent him a cheque that bounced.

                        Mr Clark said he thought it was "reprehensible" that Mr Serepisos was the boss of The Apprentice and was filmed giving advice to young businessmen and women.

                        He was a "shocking role model" to be fronting the show.

                        TVNZ said it did due diligence on Mr Serepisos' businesses before the show – in which contestants vie to become his "apprentice" on a salary package worth $200,000 – began screening.

                        Mr Serepisos said he knew that going on the show would result in people taking pot shots at him.

                        Last month, McKee-Fehl obtained a Wellington District Court charging order to get $90,321 from Mr Serepisos' company Century City Ventures for work it did on his IBM building in Petone.
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                        The order was registered against the title on the property owned by Century City Ventures.

                        Mr Serepisos said the money had now been paid and he expected the order to be removed from the building's title.

                        Mr Clark said he had "not yet got around" to lifting the order.

                        Mr Yong, a director of engineering consultancy Clendon Burns and Park, said the money was for work on Mr Serepisos' IBM building in Petone more than a year ago.

                        The bill is not contested by Mr Serepisos. "I owe them $60,000, there is no denying I owe them $60,000. That is correct," he said.

                        But he said he did not know anything about a bounced cheque as he had other people handling his everyday accounts.

                        He described Mr Yong as a friend and said they had a longstanding working relationship.

                        Mr Yong said Mr Serepisos "promised and promised" to pay and a cheque finally arrived last year. "[But] when I put the cheque in the bank it bounced back."

                        When he saw Mr Serepisos on TVNZ's The Apprentice he thought: "This is too much for people to stomach."

                        As for Mr Serepisos' statements that he was a victim of "tall poppy" syndrome, Mr Yong said: "I don't have problems with tall poppies. I have problems with people who don't pay [their bills]."
                        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post...uncing-cheques

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The issue here is a simple one; use direct debits instead of cheques, then you can't accidently forget to sign the cheque or accidently forget to send it for several months.

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                          • #14
                            Cheques shouldn't exist now - they are used to slow the payment process...everything Terry is alleged to have done I've experienced first hand with cheque payment. Cheques can also be reversed up to 6 months after presentation and the $$ deposited in your account. Auto payment can only be reversed up to 3 days later so best to not accept cheques.....for large ticket items or wait 6 months before spending the dosh.

                            Cheers,

                            Donna
                            SEARCH PropertyTalk, About PropertyTalk

                            BusinessBlogs - the best business articles are found here

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              buffet says

                              it's only when the tide goes out

                              that you get to see who was swimming naked

                              always a bit of a surprise though to see the self styled swimming coaches letting it all hang out..
                              have you defeated them?
                              your demons

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