McGrath has gone into a trading halt as it prepares a statement about its founder

William West/AFP/Getty Images

McGrath has gone into a trading halt while the company prepares a statement relating to media reports about its founder, real estate salesman John McGrath.

The agency today posted a half year loss of $25.5 million after impairments of $22.9 million to goodwill. Revenue fell 23% to $51.6 million for the half year to December.

“The reason for the trading halt is a pending announcement regarding recent media comment in relation to Mr McGrath,” says the company.

McGrath’s personal finances have been the subject of several media reports.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on an alleged $16.2 million gambling debt with betting company William Hill Australia run by Tom Waterhouse.

McGrath reportedly told staff the report was “rubbish” and “ridiculous”.

And there was also a report in The Australian about a margin lending facility via a private company controlling part of McGrath’s 26% stake in the real estate agency.

The company’s shares last traded at $0.425. The company floated in December 2015 at $2.10.

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