PHOTO: Terry Serepisos. FILE
Terry Serepisos’ Mum Escapes Eviction Again Following Business Deal Fallout
Former Property Mogul Delays Mortgagee Sale as Last-Minute Agreement Reached
Former bankrupt property mogul Terry Serepisos has successfully delayed the mortgagee sale of his mother’s luxurious Wellington home after reaching a last-minute pact with a one-time business partner. The hilltop Miramar house, valued at millions of dollars, was unexpectedly “temporarily withdrawn” from the sale just an hour before the deadline earlier this week.
This property, located on Nevay Rd, was at the center of a previous dispute that resulted in Serepisos and his elderly mother being declared squatters when they refused to vacate the premises. Over the past four years, the complex web of property ownership has become increasingly tangled, with the properties changing hands once again and sparking a fresh dispute over contractual terms.
“Please exercise caution in your reporting,” Terry Serepisos urged after the listing for the house was taken down on Wednesday. “It not only affects me but also an 89-year-old lady – my mother.”
Serepisos, once a prominent figure who owned the Wellington Phoenix football team and hosted New Zealand’s version of The Apprentice, faced bankruptcy in 2011 with debts amounting to $200 million. He is currently battling creditors at his struggling Century City hotel, which he repurchased last year. However, the Nevay Rd dispute is an unrelated matter that doesn’t involve the liquidation of Serepisos’ own companies.
In September 2021, Auckland-based development firm Black Robin purchased the $2.4 million house from the Serepisos family with the intention of developing part of the site, along with an adjacent 2000 square meter section on Camperdown Rd, for a multi-unit housing project called The Windsor. Unfortunately, those plans fell through, and the owning company, Nevay Nominees, is now in liquidation.
Consequently, the Serepisos family home briefly appeared on the market. However, it is understood that the Serepisoses have an agreement with Black Robin that allows them to continue living there. This arrangement would likely be jeopardized if the house were to be sold, according to Waterstone Insolvency liquidator Damien Grant.
“The potential buyer would need to negotiate with the current occupants,” Grant explained. “This would entail either entering into a tenancy agreement or politely requesting them to vacate the premises.”
This latest development adds to the already contentious saga surrounding these properties, which have experienced frequent changes in ownership. Aliki Serepisos, Terry’s mother, previously owned the two properties in question, along with a third property on Caledonia St where she resided.
In 2019, property investor Matthew Ryan acquired the Caledonia St house after a series of unpaid loans. However, Ryan discovered that Terry Serepisos was still residing there with his mother. An attempted entry into the house led to a skirmish that required police intervention. The dispute eventually reached the Wellington District Court, resulting in the Serepisoses being declared squatters. Subsequently, the family relocated to the Nevay Rd property.
Property records indicate that the Nevay Rd home later came under the ownership of the Serepisos family once again, this time via Terry and his brother Lambros, before swiftly transferring to Black Robin, along with the Camperdown Rd property.
Regarding the Miramar development plans, no resource consent was ever granted. Another Black Robin company involved in the affair, Windsor BRE, is also facing liquidation. This company owned the Camperdown Rd property, which was sold in a mortgagee sale last December.
When Serepisos attempted to repurchase the Century City Hotel, a former jewel in his empire, Black Robin was involved in an early stage of the deal, as previously reported by NBR. The Serepisos entity involved in that particular deal is now in receivership.
Earlier, the Nevay Rd property was listed with unusual sales conditions, including no viewings and no guarantee of habitability. The listing agent, Billy Bell from Tommy’s Real Estate, confirmed that the house was “temporarily withdrawn” from sale shortly before the deadline. While the listing was active, several bids were made by potential buyers.
Grant acknowledged that neither party stood to benefit if the house were to be sold, leading them to reach a compromise. However, he stated that he was not privy to the details of their agreement. When asked about the terms, Terry Serepisos declined to comment.