Written on the 10 December 2015 by Jenna Rathbone


AFTER being frozen out of selling their Raptis Group (ASX:RPG) shares for the past seven years, it seems investors are taking a wait-and-see approach as the Gold Coast property developer resumed trading this morning.

No sellers emerged in the first few hours of trading, although two buyers sat in the bidder's position at 6c a share. The bulk of bids, for about 500,000 shares, are at 1c, which compares with the last trading price of 40c in 2008.

The former high rise developer resumed trading on the Australian Stock Exchange after a lengthy delisting when it fell into administration in September 2008 with debts of about $1 billion.

It was the second time in 17 years the company ran into financial strife, with the tipping point coming during early-stage construction of Southport Central's third tower.

At its peak, Raptis Group owned the Sheraton Mirage, the Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast International (since renamed the QT) and the Iluka building, which has since been demolished.

It is taking a decidedly lower profile as it resumes development activity, with chairman and founder Jim Raptis confident a proposed $25 million project at Springwood, on Brisbane's southside will return shareholder value. 

"I take this opportunity to thank all our stakeholders and supporters who have been patient and worked with us to achieve this positive milestone," says Raptis in a statement to the ASX.

"It is an opportunity for the company to return value for shareholders by establishing an effective development team and embarking on a steady and strategic rollout of projects."

The company's revival is thanks to Hanslow Holdings, a company directed by Jim and Helen Raptis, providing $1.5 million in working capital to resurrect the company. Hanslow has pumped about $6 million into supporting the group since 2009.

The recent contribution of $1.5 million will be used to kickstart a proposed project at Springwood which will compromise 60 townhouses.

Construction is expected to commence in March 2016 while the completed units are scheduled to settle within 12 months.  The project is expected to have an end value of $25 million.

"All indicators are south-east Queensland will provide the best growth opportunities in the next few years and our first project is positioned to take advantage of this," says Raptis.

"We will be pursuing other development sites and will advise the market when these new development opportunities are secured."

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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