“No one plans for these things”: Metricon acting CEO denies crisis rumours following founder’s death

“No one plans for these things”: Metricon acting CEO denies crisis rumours following founder’s death

Just days after the sudden and unexpected death of Metricon founder and CEO Mario Biasin (pictured below), the construction giant’s acting chief executive has brushed off rumours that the company is experiencing financial difficulty and asked for respect in what is a trying time for the Victorian firm.

The comments come amidst reports from Australian media outlets about Metricon’s financial situation, with many reporting the company is in “crisis talks” following the founder’s death.

The firm, Australia’s largest home builder with around 4,000 homes currently under construction, is also reportedly meeting with major clients and the Victorian Government today to discuss its future.

Metricon founder Mario BiasinHowever, Metricon’s acting CEO Peter Langfelder told the press that Metricon was not in dire straits, noting any current challenges are “business as usual” and to be expected following the death of Biasin.

“Mario was much loved and admired and his loss has been heartfelt by many of the Metricon family. No one plans for these things,” Langfelder said in a media statement.

“I ask for patience and consideration from our customers whilst our executives and staff deal with their loss.

“We are focused on the business running as smoothly as possible, servicing all our customers and continuing to get homes to site and completed on time.”

The CEO also said that Metricon was "a long-term, viable business, with a strong history of performance".

“All our contracts are profitable, and we are up to date with all our payments: to contractors, suppliers, employees and trades,” Langfelder said.

“We have a strong and positive relationship with our bankers and all facilities are in term, and with headroom.”

Master Builders Association of Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson also commented on Metricon’s future, noting she was “optimistic” about the company’s prospects.

“Metricon is a valued member of Master Builders Victoria. We are in close contact with them, and we are very optimistic about the company’s future,” Casson said.

“It is incumbent on everyone not to join in with the rumour narrative, especially during this incredibly challenging time. Now, more than ever, it is vital that our industry sticks together and supports each other.

"We also encourage Metricon’s clients and suppliers to be kind and patient with them as they navigate through these unprecedented challenges.”

Founded in 1976, Metricon has grown from its Melbourne home to become a property giant, and employs 2,500 staff across Australia’s eastern seaboard and South Australia.

Metricon acting executive chair Ross Palazzesi expressed his personal grief, as well as that of directors and the broader base of employees.

“As friends and colleagues of Mario, we are shocked and so saddened by the news. Our hearts and thoughts are with the Biasin family,” Palazzesi said.

“We will ensure Metricon Homes continues all operations and on-site construction as usual during a very emotional time.”

The chairman of football club Melbourne Victory, Anthony Di Pietro, also offered his condolences.

“Melbourne Victory Football Club is today shocked, devastated and heartbroken upon hearing the news of the passing of Mario Biasin,” Di Pietro said.

“Mario has been a shareholder and director of the club for over 16 years, and has been an inspiration for many of us in so many ways, but especially as a great personal friend.

“He has always provided sage counsel to our staff, management and the Board and his football passion will live on forever. Mario will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his wife Glenda and the entire Biasin family at this difficult time.”

Biasin is survived by his wife Glenda and four adult children Jason, Michelle Crisfield, Bradley and Brent, as well as their spouses and children.

The rumours surrounding Metricon follow the collapse of a number of Australian property and construction companies including behemoth Probuild which went into administration back in February.

Another high-profile construction collapse was Gold Coast-based Condev, which appointed a liquidator in March after the company failed to win the support of its developer clients to continue operating.

More recently, Sydney developer Next entered voluntary administration with debts of $15 million, leaving an aged care facility in Emu Plains and other projects unfinished.

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