Vineyard company owned by murdered woman $12m in debt

The Carrick vineyard and winery at Bannockburn. Photo: Supplied
The Carrick vineyard and winery at Bannockburn. Photo: Supplied
An Otago vineyard owned by a murdered Auckland woman owed more than $12 million when it went into receivership.

Carrick Wines Ltd, in Bannockburn, was owned by 55-year-old Elizabeth Zhong, who was found dead in the boot of her car in November, near her East Auckland house.

At the time of her death, she faced court action amid claims she owed associates millions of dollars.

Ms Zhong was the sole director and shareholder of two wine-making companies, Waiheke Island's Kennedy Point Group Ltd and Central Otago's Carrick Wines Ltd.

Carrick Wines Ltd had been for sale for about 18 months before Ms Zhong's death and was put into receivership following her death.

Andrew McKay and Andrew Bethell were appointed joint receivers on November 2.

Their first report, dated December 29, revealed the company owed $12.32 million at the time it went into receivership.

The bulk of that, $9.64 million, was to a bank, while a further $2.2 million was owed to shareholders.

New Zealand Customs was owed $20,000 in unpaid excise fees, and employees were owed $45,000.

The report noted that, after it was completed, $3.56 million of bank debt had been repaid through the settlement of property, leaving an outstanding bank debt of $6.09 million.

It also noted it was too early to determine whether any funds would be available for unsecured creditors.

The vineyard was listed for sale and put up for tender in December.

Police are still investigating Ms Zhong's death. She was last seen alive on the evening of Friday, November 27.



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