McGrath dismisses AFR report on estate agency company returning to private hands

Jonathan ChancellorNovember 12, 20170 min read

A McGrath spokesperson has dismissed a newspaper report that McGrath could soon be back in private hands.

The Australian Financial Review reported founder John McGrath and former Sydney franchise boss Shane Smollen were "understood to be working on a deal to take back control of the listed real estate flop."

The article quoted one source, identified only as "a senior industry source."

They had reportedly told The Australian Financial Review there was a "lot of movement" going on behind the scenes at McGrath.

"Private equity is sniffing around and the shareholders, including John McGrath and Shane Smollen are trying to do something," the source said adding an announcement could come before the company's annual meeting, due to be held November 22.

"We have absolutely no knowledge of these plans," a spokeswoman for McGrath told the newspaper.
John McGrath, who stepped down as CEO last year, remains the company's biggest shareholder with his 25.9 per cent stake.

Smollen has an 8.9 per cent share.

The share price - after McGrath's latest profit warning - ended Friday at 52 cents, down from its IPO value of $2.10.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.
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