RAPTIS BACK FROM SEVEN YEARS IN WILDERNESS

RAPTIS BACK FROM SEVEN YEARS IN WILDERNESS

LONG-dormant Gold Coast developer Raptis Group (ASX:RPG) is back in business, but the days of creating multimillion-dollar skyscrapers on the tourism strip are well behind it.

Chairman Jim Raptis told a general meeting of shareholders today that Raptis Group will be seeking relisting on the Australian Securities Exchange as it fires up plans for its first project in seven years.

The company, which solely focused on the Gold Coast prior to its billion-dollar collapse in 2008, also plans to undertake developments in Brisbane under its current incarnation.

"The first project for the relaunch of the public company is a townhouse project in Springwood on the southside of Brisbane," says Raptis.

"Subject to council approval, it will comprise 60 townhouses and a sales value of $25 million."

Raptis says construction is expected to begin early next year.

"To keep stakeholders informed we will announce further details of the project and the relaunch of the company prior to the next meeting on November 12."

Raptis Group is holding its first AGM since 2007 in Sydney. The company is expected to apply for relisting once approval is granted at this meeting.

Raptis Group has been suspended from official ASX quotation since September 2008, when it first struck financial problems during early construction of the third tower at Southport Central.

The problems eventually spread across the group, including the Hilton Surfers Paradise development and a suite of prized property holdings, including the Sheraton Mirage.

However, Raptis Group has survived through a deed of company arrangement struck with creditors in 2009.

The process of resuming business activities has taken longer than many would have expected, largely due to a decade-long stoush with the Australian Taxation Office.

Raptis secured a court win on that score after whittling down the $29.3 million tax claim to just $6.

Today's meeting approved the re-election of Jim Raptis and Helen Raptis as directors of the company, as well as the transfer of 8.28 million Raptis Group shares and the issue of a further 40 million shares to Hanslow Holdings.

Hanslow is a company directed by Jim and Helen Raptis and which is providing $1.5 million in working capital to bring the company back to life. Following the share issue, Hanslow will control 63.8 per cent of Raptis Group.

Jim Raptis could not be contacted for further comment. He has previously told Business News Australia that debt management was vital for the resurrected company in the post-GFC era.

He also says high rises are not on the agenda for Raptis Group and that the company will take a conservative approach to all new projects

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