Bulgarian property group Orchid to flower on AIM

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The Independent Online

Orchid Developments, a Bulgarian property developer, yesterday became the latest eastern European company to announce its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market.

Orchid Developments, a Bulgarian property developer, yesterday became the latest eastern European company to announce its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market.

The company, which invests in both commercial and residential property and also operates hotels in Bulgaria, plans to raise €20m (£13m) from the float, which it says it will use to finance existing projects and to provide some working capital for the group. It has also secured a €30m debt facility from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

Orchid is the second Bulgarian property company to list on AIM this year, after the flotation of Bulgarian Property Development in January. Many Russian firms have also expressed their hope to float on AIM, joining the likes of Rambler Media, the Russian equivalent to the search engine Google, which listed yesterday, and Sistema.

More than 40 Russian firms attended a London Stock Exchange roadshow last year, many of whom are expected to try to list before the end of the year.

Orchid has a wide-ranging property portfolio in Bulgaria, worth about €47m. The company is run by the international property developers Guy Meyohas and Ofer Miretzky. Its non-executive chairman is David Holland, a former group managing director of George Wimpey.

Mr Meyohas, the joint chief executive, said: "We are very pleased to be announcing our plans for an admission to AIM. This is an important step in the development of our company and comes at a time when Bulgaria's real estate and leisure sectors are enjoying buoyant conditions, coupled with the significant benefits EU accession is likely to bring to these markets.

"This will undoubtedly provide a number of further attractive opportunities for Orchid going forward and we are confident that we are well-positioned to deliver on our growth strategy."

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