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Stock Exchange listing still in Bridgecorp sights

By Jock Anderson

Friday 9th June 2000

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Rod Petricevic

One of the 1980s' most high-profile tycoons, Rod Petricevic, is hoping to finally get back into the sharemarket game.

Mr Petricevic, a former partner of Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite, founded investment company Euro National, which listed in 1985.

The company he now runs, Bridgecorp Holdings, buoyed by a record year and strong expansion, continues to battle for Stock Exchange listing, which chairman Bruce Davidson hopes to get later this year.

After being knocked back by the exchange when it sought listing last year, Bridgecorp changed its constitution in February to bring it into line with new exchange guidelines.

Managing director and major shareholder Mr Petricevic has been reported as saying if a new application was turned down he would be forced to conclude his personal track record, including his involvement with failed 1980s investment vehicle Euro National, was the reason.

Euro National posted a $255 million loss in 1988, the year Mr Petricevic resigned from the board and sold out.

Bridgecorp began life as Bridgevale Mining before buying the Toy Warehouse retail chain.

It was delisted in 1992 for failing to comply with exchange listing requirements, including failure to file an annual return.

But since then Bridgecorp has turned its financial affairs around, announcing a record after-tax surplus of $4.88 million for the year to March 31, well up on last year's $1.3 million.

Mr Davidson, a senior partner in law firm Rudd Watts and Stone, said Bridgecorp was pursuing listing and was corresponding with the exchange.

Revenue rose from $7.21 million to more than $19 million with earnings per share more than trebling to 12.2 cents. Shareholders' funds rose 140% to $10.2 million. Mr Davidson said there had been strong growth in Bridgecorp's focus on finance and investment banking. Bridgecorp's operating expenses rose from $6.4 million to $13.6 million.

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