Nido investors fail in attempt to convert shop into smaller tenancies, mortgagee sale proceeds

Mortgagee PearlFisher Capital has refused an offer to convert west Auckland’s failed Nido shop into multiple tenancies to generate money for investors in the $62 million property investment scheme which owns the land and building.

Jodi Tuffin, investor relations manager at Maat Group, which sold sales in Nido landlord Central Park Property Investment, told investors the latest rescue plans did not succeed.

The building was to be leased to smaller operators but the lender had not agreed, she said.

PearlFisher still plans to accept the highest offer for the property by 5pm tonight after a mortgagee sale marketing campaign, she said.

Investors who own New Zealand’s largest new retail property development project and are paying 21 per cent on PearlFisher’s $25m loan were refused a rescue attempt to lease their building.

Those investors were asked for more money to stave off the mortgagee sale called for by PearlFisher to retrieve its $25m.

Neal Tuffin, managing director of Maat said PearlFisher is charging 21 per cent for the loan.

Jodi Tuffin yesterday wrote to investors saying attempts to hatch a new deal had failed.

“It is disappointing that we have learned today of PearlFisher’s unwillingness to accept our strategy of converting the building into a multi-tenancy facility,” she wrote.

“They have preferred their option of completing their mortgagee sale process. They have advised us that they will accept the best tender offer by 5pm tomorrow,” she said of today’s deadline to accept bids.

Investors will be updated tomorrow.

“Thank you for your patience and support during this time. We are available to discuss this investment with you at any mutually convenient time,” Tuffin wrote.

Neil Tuffin told the Herald today: “We will wait until we know the detail of the offer accepted by Pearlfisher Trustee before making any comment. The plans for the redevelopment are attached for your information.”

He forwarded plans by retail architecture specialists and consultants Buchan Group showing levels one and two of the Nido store divided into 12 tenancies with the name “HQ Home” on the outside replacing Nido, which is nest in Italian.

Extensive warehouse space was allowed for in Buchan’s plans titled ‘Nido store repurposed’.

The situation has left at least one investor worried.

“They have had lots of ideas on how to save things but nothing seems to have succeeded. Lots of ‘get back to you’ by a certain date but in the end this,” he said today, asking not to be named.

Tony Abraham, Pearlfisher Capital founding shareholder and a director, said his business was the first mortgagee funder of the land and buildings where the Nido store has been constructed.

On March 12, Neil Tuffin wrote to 229 Central Park investors, telling them how extra money was needed to repay part of the $25m Pearlfisher loan.

Tuffin said 183 investors had responded and of those, 131 had committed to funding a required $4.96m.

“We’re trying to retrieve this. This is different – this is a development project,” Tuffin said when asked about the Central Park scheme compared to offers syndicators were making to investors.

“We have 14 other ones where investors will get over 200 per cent back,” Tuffin said of other Maat offers.

He and accountant Mark Hughson headed an investor meeting held in Auckland on April 13.

Around 70 per cent of investors live north of Taupō, Tuffin said. Some investors could not attend the meeting in person.

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