Dolphin leaps onto AIM

Published on: "Business XL (04/01/06) and Growth Business (08/12/05)"

By Christopher Spink

AIM’s fascination with overseas property plays continues to mount, with Dolphin Capital Investors the latest newcomer of its ilk attracting significant UK investment.

The company, which has been established to invest in residential resort developments in Southeast Europe, has amassed a £70.7 million war chest, through a placing at 68p, with the aid of broker Panmure Gordon. Investment adviser Dolphin Capital Partners was set up last year by Miltos Kambourides and Pierre Charalambides, who previously worked together at Soros Real Estate Partners, part of billionaire currency speculator George Soros’ private equity empire.

The duo plan to invest in land beside the sea in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Croatia, which has either been earmarked for residential resort development or where such development is at an early stage. The sites will aim to attract high-grade holiday-home owners and incorporate facilities such as golf courses, marinas and spas.

Following the fundraising, from a host of blue chip investors, the group believes it can inject the necessary equity into six projects it has already identified to kick-start development.

Kambourides believes the fundamentals are right for a boom in residential holiday property in Greece.

‘Following the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, there was a boom in developments in south-east Europe (Spain and Portugal). Soros was the biggest investor here. This phase has now reached saturation point,’ he reasons. ‘However, there have been hardly any developments in south-west Europe (Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Turkey). We aim to take advantage of the goodwill generated by last year’s Athens Olympics.’

Source: "Business XL (04/01/06) and Growth Business (08/12/05)"