MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia - One of Australia's biggest builders, Grocon, is technically insolvent with 52 of its subsidiaries in the process of having administrators appointed to them.
The family business is run by Daniel Grollo, 50, whose grandfather Luigi Grollo founded it sixty-six years ago, in 1954.
Grocon has been responsible for the construction of many landmark buildings in Australia, particularly in its home city of Melbourne, but also in Victoria generally, and in New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland. Recently completed projects include the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Liberty Place / ANZ Tower and 5 Martin Place in Sydney, and 55 Elizabeth Street and 480 Queen Street in Brisbane, and the Parklands Project on the Gold Coast that housed athletes for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The builder has won countless industry awards since its inception.,
Media reports say the company has been brought to its knees by a legal dispute over a major development at Sydney's Barangaroo, home of the new Crown Casino, majority-owned by James Packer.
Last month when filing its accounts for the year Grocon had to disclose it could not guarantee it could meet its debts as they became due.
Many sub-contractors are unpaid, and salaries too. Legal bills have mounted up, including a security against costs order against the group over the Barangaroo legal stoush, however the biggest creditor is the Australian Taxation Office.
Surprisingly the extent of debt is not substantial, given the size of the group. It is believed creditors are owed $60 million. Daniel Grollo has told reporters the legal actions against Infrastructure NSW over Barangaroo could net between $60 million and $190 million, which even at the most pessimistic assessment would be sufficient to pay creditors in full.