Jonathan Chancellor | 2 December 2012

Raptis Group's phoenix-like return closer after tax battle victory

Raptis Group's phoenix-like return closer after tax battle victory

The administrators of the Raptis Group construction company, Rapcivic Contractors Pty Ltd, have eliminated an $11.6 million claim against the company from the Australian Tax Office.

The administrators Brian Silvia and Andrew Cummins of BRI Ferrier not only defeated the claim but secured a GST refund of $302,000 after working in co-operation with the Raptis management team.

Additionally Rapcivic’s chairman Jim Raptis has been successful before the Federal Court in having an ATO assessment for a $19.5 million also set aside, although the ATO is seeking leave to appeal to the High Court.

The ATO’s claim made up almost 75% of the estimated unsecured creditors’ claims against Rapcivic, which is now estimated to be between $11 million and $12 million.

The removal of this claim means the likely return to unsecured creditors under the company’s deed of company arrangement is now between 5.38¢ to 10.26¢ on the dollar.

The veteran property developer said he was determined to bring the group back under shareholders’ control and back to operational status.

"Creditors will become shareholders under the deed of company arrangement and any future operations will benefit them directly," he said.

"This is why we have worked tirelessly to resolve the dispute with the tax office, and the withdrawal of the claim brings us another step closer to returning to operations."

"In anticipation of the group’s reinstatement, funds will be made available to identify and commence new development opportunities," Raptis said.

The Raptis Group built many major Gold Coast high-rise projects over past decades before it hit financial trouble with its three-tower Southport Central project during the global financial crisis.

Partly completed projects have been sold off by receivers, but the company survived under a deed of arrangement with creditors.

It was recently reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin that the son of Jim Raptis, Evan Raptis, was in Asia trying to rebuild the family empire.

The son, in his mid-20s, has established his own businesses after the banks moved in on companies linked to their fathers.

He was among 15 people travelling as part of mayor Tom Tate's trade mission to Taiwan and China last month.

Evan Raptis is joint managing director of Emandar, a company he set up in 2007, which he wants to be part of the next upward cycle.

"We have to look for new opportunities to be able to do that. We have to position ourselves for when the market returns," he says.

His company is involved with a handful of low-rise projects across the Gold Coast.


p top listings

Take luxury city living to a new level