Owners inject $30m to rest Metricon viability speculation

Acting chief executive officer Peter Langfelder said Metricon should be considered a success story.

For the second time in as many weeks, Metricon is hosing down speculation the suicide of co-founder Mario Biasin is linked to any company instability.

Today, interim chief executive officer Peter Langfelder explained a meeting with the New South Wales government was not a crisis talk as some press reported but, like one with Victorian leaders last week, to discuss industry issues and potential state-wide support packages.

Tonight, directors went a step further with a token – collectively tipping in $30m of private capital “to demonstrate their commitment to the future of the company”.

They also reiterated a long-term finance partner, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia – which some media outlets suggested had dropped support for Metricon – has in fact doubled the developer’s working capital facility (the CBA has continually cited client confidentiality for declining to comment on the matter).

Last week, at an emergency press-confidence, Mr Langfelder described the financial woe rumours as baseless, adding all the group’s contracts were profitable, it had room to move on debt and payments to staff and suppliers were up to date.

No smoke, no fire

Metricon is the country’s biggest builder, with some 6052 home starts last year, mainly in Victoria.

Mr Biasin engaged consultancy Sayers Group in the months before his death to discuss finance options to further grow the business.

“The unexpected death of company founder and chief executive officer Mario Biasin is now impacting on Metricon together with the general speculation about the health of Australia’s construction industry,” a company statement said (story continues below).

“Metricon’s owners wanted to demonstrate in real dollars – their own – and not just words their confidence in its future,” Mr Langfelder added.

“We have previously said that our company has a proven history of success and remains profitable and viable and that we have the full support of our key stakeholders,” according to the executive.

“We have also appreciated incredible support from so many of our customers, suppliers and trades – but sadly, this hasn’t been enough to reinstall the complete confidence of the broader industry.

“This significant injection of capital by the owners demonstrates to our customers, employees, sub-contractors and suppliers our confidence in the viability, profitability and future of the Metricon business.

“We hope it may cultivate a groundswell of support for Metricon, which is a great Australian success story.

“Whilst industry conditions are challenging the entire sector, Metricon has always been confident of weathering this storm and powering ahead with plans for growth.

“Metricon executives will continue talks with all key stakeholders in relation to support packages aimed at assisting the entire construction industry”.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.