Pegasus company in receivership

JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN AND FAIRFAX NZ
Last updated 05:00 18/08/2012

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A company owned by the developers behind a multimillion-dollar bid to build a monorail in Fiordland has gone into receivership.

The company behind partly built Pegasus town subdivision north of Christchurch, run by Wanaka-based Bob Robertson and John Beattie, was placed in receivership on Thursday.

Receiver Simon Thorne confirmed Pegasus Town Ltd was in receivership, but would not make further comment.

Mr Robertson and Mr Beattie are also behind the $175 million Fiordland Link proposal under Riverstone Holdings and Wanaka-based Infinity Investment Group.

The Fiordland Link Experience project envisages a 20km catamaran journey from Queenstown to Mt Nicholas Station, a backcountry all-terrain drive and a 41km monorail ride through Snowdon Forest and farmland to Te Anau Downs.

Final Conservation Department decision-making on the monorail concession, already granted approval in principle, is under way alongside a separate plan for a $170m plan by Milford Dart to build an 11.3-kilometre private bus tunnel between Routeburn Rd and Hollyford Rd.

Mr Robertson said difficulty refinancing a loan was behind the Pegasus trouble but there was no "contagion effect" for other projects.

"It doesn't have any bearing on the [Riverstone monorail] project or any other group we are dealing with," he said. It should be business as usual for the town, and the move would have no effect on residents and section buyers.

Receivership action was taken by New Zealand Property Finance Partners, an investment consortium owned by Australia's Brookfield group and investment banker Goldman Sachs.

The consortium bought a loan over Pegasus Town from the Bank of Scotland last year.

Pegasus agreed to buy back the loan from Brookfield and Goldman Sachs, but could not get the finance.

Mr Robertson said a New Zealand lender agreed to refinance the loan, but "we were unable to get the deal across the line in time, and Brookfield have run out of patience." He hoped the loan could be refinanced next week.

Pegasus Town is owned by Infinity Investment Group and Oamaru and Queenstown investors.

The town, with lake, golf course, cafe and general store, has been under development for eight years and now has about 600 residents out of an intended 7000.

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- The Southland Times

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