Banker accepts owing debt to company, court told

21:59, Feb 22 2013
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SAM KELT: Has now acknowledged a debt to Wellington company Project Eight.

An eleventh-hour acknowledgement of a substantial debt has staved off a bankruptcy hearing against merchant banker Sam Kelt.

Mr Kelt is being pursued by Wellington-based company Project Eight to honour a personal guarantee of about $250,000.

The company, run by Jason Deane and Jeremy Smith, claims it is owed the sum by Mr Kelt, who personally guaranteed a loan made to an entity behind a development at Clive.

The matter was set down for a two-hour defended hearing in the High Court at Napier yesterday, but when it was called Associate Judge David Gendall was informed by Project Eight's lawyer, Paul Chisnall, that Mr Kelt had accepted the debt the previous evening.

There was no appearance by Mr Kelt or his lawyer.

Mr Chisnall said an agreement had been reached and asked that the matter be called again in May.

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Judge Gendall said documents had been filed with the court by Mr Kelt noting "an admission of an action in terms of an arrangement which I understand had been reached between the parties".

The matter would lie with the court to allow both parties to negotiate.

When the matter was last called in November last year, Mr Kelt claimed there had been a co-guarantor in the arrangement against whom he was considering taking court action.

The co-guarantor had settled his debt earlier in the year and no court action has been initiated.

Mr Kelt's company Kelt Capital has until May to settle a $335,000 debt with Inland Revenue.

The Dominion Post