Revolution Precrafted’s Robbie Antonio has stepped down from his family’s real estate business, Century Properties, to focus on Revolution, which is being probed by national agencies, and his other businesses.
According to a filing with the Philippines Stock Exchange (PSE), Century Properties’s board has accepted the resignation of Antonio as co-managing director and board member with immediate effect.
The statement added that Antonio’s reason for leaving is to “allow him to focus on addressing the pressing issues in his own company and its allied businesses.” The Filipino real estate developer is actively searching for Antonio’s replacement as a board member and director.
Robbie Antonio’s departure signals escalating pressure on the Filipino founder to resolve urgent issues surrounding Revolution Precrafted. The firm, as reported on Friday, is being probed by the Philippines’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for allegedly duping former suppliers and contractors of 150 million pesos ($3 million).
Revolution Precrafted responded on the same day that the firm is committed to “expeditiously resolve company issues,” and will fully cooperate with authorities to address these complaints from its former contractors and suppliers. It added that the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to challenges in collecting receivables, resulting in “limited ability” to pay to these complainants.
Local broadcaster ABS-CBN reported that Revolution Precrafted has until Wednesday to produce a counter-affidavit, or it risks being charged with “syndicated estafa” — a criminal offence of swindling by five or more people.
Revolution Precrafted was founded in 2015 by Robbie Antonio, son of Filipino real estate company Century Properties founder Jose Antonio. The company touted itself as the Philippines’ first venture-backed unicorn, promoting a vision to build prefabricated luxury homes designed by internationally renowned architects, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, and Philip Johnson.
However, DealStreetAsia’s investigative report on Antonio and his company last year revealed the firm barely delivered on its promises to customers. Revolution was also found to be raising tiny amounts of funds at lofty valuations, throwing the validity of its hallowed unicorn status into question.
The Manila-based firm was also found to have stretched the truth on its sales, especially around Batulao Artscapes, a project Antonio developed with his father’s company, Century Properties. Some “starchitects” whom Revolution tapped on for its award-winning designs were also found to have ended their partnerships with the firm.
Antonio, a flamboyant personality who was known for his extravagant lifestyle and parties with Hollywood celebrities Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, has been keeping a low profile for the last year.