AC/DC's Phil Rudd's wealth in cars and property
RICHARD MEADOWS AND TONY WALL
Ferraris, a helicopter and a multi-million dollar property portfolio - such is the extraordinary lifestyle of AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd.
Rudd was charged on Thursday with attempting to procure the murder of two men, but yesterday the Crown solicitor decided to withdraw the charge.
He still faces counts of threatening to kill - which his lawyer says he will defend - and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis, to which he also hasn't yet pleaded.
In an interview with Fairfax, the man named in court papers on Thursday as the intended hitman dubbed him the ''Hugh Hefner of Tauranga''.
New details are now emerging which show the 60-year old rocker lives up to the nickname.
Property records suggest Rudd’s New Zealand portfolio and fleet of luxury vehicles alone are worth at least $8 million-$10m.
His home on Tauranga’s Harbour Drive had a rateable value of over $1.9 million in 2012. It features a swimming pool, spa and outdoor fire places.
He has three other residential Bay of Plenty properties with a combined value of $1.58m, co-owned with lawyer Karen Gravatt and Wood Walton Trustees.
The man, whose name is suppressed, said Rudd felt unsafe after repeated disputes with prostitutes over payment.
He also said Rudd had ‘‘done a lot for the community’’, single-handedly keeping some businesses afloat.
The veteran musician appeared on all but three of AC/DC’s 18 studio albums, which have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide.
At least some of his career earnings have gone towards a fleet of luxury sports cars, which he stores in an airport hangar.
In a 2012 interview with Speedcafe.com, Rudd said he ‘‘went straight down the road to buy my first Ferrari’’ after Highway to Hell was released.
He showcased 11 of his luxury cars in a Christchurch earthquake appeal fundraiser the previous year, including a rare 1991 Ferrari F40 and a brand new Ferrari 599.
Other cars on display included two Lamborghinis, a 2010 Rolls Royce Ghost, 2011 Bentley Mulsanne and Bentley super sport, Audi R8 V10, a 2011 Aston Martin DBS, 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG and a rare Can Am race car.
The 11 cars have a combined worth of approximately $2.5-$3m, with more vehicles understood to be in the collection.
Rudd’s airport hangar is also home to his MD 520N helicopter, estimated to be worth $1.6m, and signwritten with Phil’s Place, the name of his restaurant.
‘‘That’s my real life these days,’’ Rudd told Speedcafe.
‘‘I’ve loved helicopters and wanted to fly them since I was eight years old watching Whirlybirds on TV.’’
The Tauranga Bridge Marina restaurant Rudd owns re-opened in April last year, having closed in July 2012 after he was ordered to pay more than $72,000 after losing his temper and sacking three of his workers.
Companies Office records show Rudd also owns Mountain Recording Studios, commercial property firm PWR Properties, and heli-charter firm Extreme Transport.
But Rudd also has some debts. First Mortgage Custodians has a mortgage secured against his house, as well as holding Rudd’s units in the First Mortgage Trust Group Investment Fund as collateral.
Dorchester Finance has a registered security over a black 2012 McLaren MP4-12C sports car, as well as a 2011 Nissan GT-R.
While one website has estimated Rudd’s net worth at US$60m (NZ$78m), the true number is difficult to calculate.