A construction company owned by a playboy property developer that had its Western Australia registration renewal refused last year, preventing it from doing any building work in the state, has collapsed into liquidation.
Perth-based developer, FTD Construction Pty Ltd, is 100 per cent owned by its sole director, self-styled playboy Ricky Hirsch.
The business went into liquidation yesterday, with Mathieu Tribut from GTS Advisory appointed as liquidator.
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Last September, WA’s Building Services Board refused to renew FTD Construction’s building contractor registration, amid concerns about its capacity to meet its debt obligations and to manage and supervise its construction projects.
At the time the Building Services Board said in a statement: “After receiving advice from [the Department of] Building and Energy following its investigation into FTD (also known as Fulfil The Dream), the Board was not satisfied that the company met the financial requirements for registration or that it had arrangements in place to ensure the proficient management and supervision of the building services carried out by the company.”
At the time, Mr Hirsch attributed the issue “to one of our previous practitioners which has now been resolved”, according to 7NEWS.com.au.
“FTD Construction as a company is strong. It has met all its financial obligations.”
He added that the company had already been moving towards allocating work to other builders, due to the difficult construction environment.
He also reportedly told The West Australian that the Building Services Board had “misunderstood” financial details presented to it by the company.
The lack of registration meant that homeowners with incomplete or defective building work done by the business could make a claim against their home indemnity insurance policy, however investors who backed the projects were left out of pocket.
In a profile published by Forbes New York in August last year, Mr Hirsch said FTD Construction was “disrupting the development industry” by specialising in modular building.
“Instead of doing all the construction work on-site, we can complete more than 90 per cent of a building project in our factory,” he said.
“This saves construction time by over 50 per cent and reduces construction waste by the same margin.
“Not to mention, it results in cost-effective savings in materials and labour.”
The self-styled global property tycoon added: “We have a uniquely devised system to outperform the marketplace.”
Mr Hirsch, 37, is now believed to live in Dubai, having told Forbes that his property development business, FTD Developments, had expanded from Australia to Dubai, Singapore, China and Indonesia, with plans to expand into the US and, in particular, to New York and Miami.
His social media profile depicts a globetrotting lifestyle of fast cars, luxury boats and expensive holidays.
FTD Developments, also known as Fulfil the Dream Pty Ltd, is continuing to trade.
On its website, FTD Developments claims to have $448 million of projects currently in its pipeline, including projects in WA, Bali and Dubai, with $80 million worth of apartment projects already underway in WA and Queensland.
Mr Hirsch told Forbes that FTD Developments had “raised over $22 million within 24 hours through high-network relationships, while offering a five per cent stake in the company’s shareholding”, claiming the business is backed by “high net-worth, global institutional investors”.
According to its website, FTD Developments targets investment from wholesale and sophisticated investors with a minimum investment of $500,000, however, an older version of its website indicates that it was previously open to ‘mum and dad’ investors, some of whom told The West Australian they had invested their superannuation and have “lost everything”.
“We are pretty sure we have lost everything,” one investor said.
“There is a group of people in the same situation. Some have lost their own properties with banks coming at them to reclaim unpaid loans. Relationships have broken down.”
Some investors told The West Australian they were taken out on Mr Hirsch’s luxury motor boat before committing to their investment.
In December, The West Australian also reported that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) “is taking a keen interest” in FTD Developments, and that following ASIC’s involvement, Mr Hirsch had reached out to several investors with settlement offers.
News.com.au has contacted Mr Hirsch and Mr Tribut for comment.
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