Nido property under contract: Mortgagee sale of Henderson store yields sale deal

A store designed to be New Zealand’s largest homeware outlet has been conditionally sold in what could be good news for investors in the property.

Tony Abraham, a director of Pearlfisher Capital which loaned money on the Nido property in West Auckland, said today a conditional contract had been struck on the mortgagee sale of the property at Central Drive.

The buyer and price must remain confidential in the meantime, he emphasised.

“It’s not finalised yet but it’s unconditional from the purchaser’s perspective. There are some vendor clauses in the contract on completion requirements,” he said referring to finishing building work, thought to be related particularly to the unfinished car park.

“We’re in the final throes of sorting it all out. This is as good an outcome as anyone could expect in the circumstances,” he said.

In April, Bayleys advertised the 27,000sq m Nido store on a 3.1ha Henderson site.

The property would have needed to sell for around $62 million to fully recoup lender and investors’ money.

Sources close to the deal said the property had sold for between $40m and $50m, leaving a potentially substantial shortfall but at least allowing some of the investors’ money to be repaid.

“Only second to State Highway 16 Henderson interchange,” Bayleys said in its advertising of the store, founded by ex-Mitre 10 MEGA owner Vinod Kumar.

Even if the high price is achieved, questions are being asked about the $62m syndication-style of the scheme whereby shares were sold in Nido property owner Central Park Property Investment, including to retired farmers in the New Plymouth and Hawera areas.

Bayleys’ advertising said: “For sale by way of international mortgagee tender.” With responses needed April 14.

“Designed for occupation by a furniture retailer, the property offers a unique opportunity to occupy, redevelop, or repurpose the existing near new improvements to suit. The property is extremely well located at the start of the well-established, popular Lincoln Road retail precinct. The North Western Motorway provides ease of access to the wider Auckland area and importantly, significantly increases the catchment for the retail offering,” Bayleys said in its advertising.

“Underpinned by a large strategic landholding, the property presents creative developers and add-value investors a wide range of alternative uses and re-development possibilities, including the potential to split into smaller tenancies, all subject to council consent, or alternatively provides a readymade solution for owner-occupiers in relation to all or part,” the advertising said.

Properties of this scale were a rarity, not only in West Auckland, but also the greater Auckland region, Bayleys said.

“Occupy, redevelop, or re-purpose this unique, high profile site.”

Pearlfisher Capital loaned $25m short-term debt financing and was charging 21 per cent default interest payment on the loan.

If the $40m to $50m sale price does eventuate, its loan is repaid before investors get any access to funds.

Two ex-farmers in their late 70s and mid 80s, from Taranaki, expressed concerns about their approximate $1m investment each into Nido which only opened in early June last year but shut around March this year.

Discounted stock sales were held in an attempt to clear all the merchandise before the operation closed down.

The Nido store was built on land paid for with $30m raised by Maat Consulting through a proportional share ownership scheme and $25m of debt from Pearlfisher Capital, a non-bank lender half-owned by investment bank Jarden.

Another $7.5m came from the vendor of the property and ultimate tenant – Nido founder Vinod Kumar.

Neil Tuffin, managing director of Maat Group which issued the shares, said his business was doing all it could to help investors. Other property investment schemes which Maat had were successful, he said.

Tuffin has tried many different avenues, including subdividing the property into 12 smaller units but Pearlfisher did not agree to this, is charging 21 per cent and its $25m loan now stands at $35m due to charges and default clauses.

Comment was sought today from Tuffin about the mortgagee sale but no response was received.

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