SPACED OUT IN CHINA

Written on the 13 September 2010

SPACED OUT IN CHINA

SPACEFRAME Buildings co-founder Werner Raspotnik says the business continues to secure large joint venture contracts in China, while closer to home he aims to capitalise on a new Woolworths venture.

“It looks likely that we’ll be successful on some Woolworths projects we’re tendering for. They’re rolling out stores similar to Bunnings called Oxygen, and there’s about 40 plus just in Queensland,” he says.

“We’ve been open in China for the last 25 years with our office in Beijing, and at the moment things are looking good in China but they’re not too good here – it’s very competitive.

“But I think there are a few signs that there might be confidence coming back to the market and I’m certainly more confident now than I was three months ago.”

Spaceframe has 240 employees in Australia that do the design work, along with 65 staff in China that fabricate and build products.

“We mostly do big warehouses up to 40,000sqm, so the size of two football fields undercover. We’ve worked with Woolworths on their distribution centres, we do coal stores and quite a few abattoirs,” says Raspotnik.

“In China we’ve worked for McDonald’s with their freezers, we’ve worked for Boeing, with container company Maersk, we’re doing work for a Norwegian company up there at the moment as well as a few German companies, but it’s mostly joint ventures for us in China.”

He says the company is family-oriented and would be reluctant to sell if an offer were on the table.

“We’re a family company. I’ve got two of my children here, my daughter who did commerce-law so she looks after administration and my son did construction management so he oversees projects,” he says.

“We’re fairly tight-knit and do the whole job from the paddock to the finished job.”

Spaceframe Buildings featured in Brisbane's Top 50 Private Companies this month. Read the full feature in Brisbane Business News September - out now in a newsagent near you.


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