Like a B movie, the collapse of Dave Henderson’s property ‘empire’ is coming to its tawdry climax.
As it hinted last week that it would, Hanover Finance has brought in a receiver to take control of Henderson’s Five Mile Village project near Queenstown airport.
Hanover says that Henderson’s Property Ventures defaulted on a $70 million loan some months ago.
Of course, just a short two weeks or so back Henderson told the Christchurch Press that he was ‘amazingly solvent’.
As usual, Henderson has been looking around for someone to blame – which is somewhat ironic given that ‘Hendo’ is big on ‘individual responsibility’.
He says that big American lender, Fortress Credit Corp, is responsible for the receivership push.
According to Henderson, Fortress part-owns NZ Castle with Auckland broker Martyn Reesby and NZ Castle have bought about a third of the loan on Five Mile from Hanover Finance.
Meanwhile its been revealed that Smith Crane and Construction are seeking approximately $750,000 from Property Ventures for work done at Five Miles.
Four other organizations are supporting Smith Crane’s High Court bid to have Property Ventures put into liquidation.
One of those organisations is, yet again, the Inland Revenue, who are seeking some $95,000. It’ll be interesting to see if ‘Hendo’ claims, yet again, that he is being ‘persecuted’ by the taxman.
But some people are still supporting our Dave, including Peter Townsend, chairman of the Canterbury Employers’ Chambers of Commerce.
He claims that Henderson has helped to revitalise the inner city.
This is debatable in itself but it is cold comfort to the people that Henderson owes money to.
Perhaps Townsend should be reminded that one of the finance companies that Henderson lent money from – Dominion Finance – has ceased business. Investors, many of then just small ‘mum and dad’ investors, may have to wait up for up to two years before they see any of they’re hard earned money again.
Dominion Finance says that they simply ran out of cash because of companies defaulting on their loans.
Of course Townsend is just one of a many high profile figures that have supported Henderson’s activities, including ACT MP Rodney Hide and Christchurch Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker.
And let’s not forget a media that was just too eager to believe Henderson’s ‘rags to riches’ story. It was a media that for too long ignored his dodgy politics and his abysmal business track record.
By the time some of the media finally realised that Henderson Street wasn’t paved with gold, the damage had already been done.