Dolphin buys control of Cyprus developer

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Dolphin Capital, the Aim-listed resort developer, is to spend €245m on a controlling stake in the largest holiday home development company in Cyprus.

Dolphin, which listed in London in December 2005, is the second-biggest of Aim’s many overseas property companies. The group is focused on resorts in Greece and other Mediterranean countries including Turkey and Croatia.

The company it is buying is Aristo Developers, the largest private landowner in Cyprus and its largest holiday home developer by turnover. Aristo’s flagship asset is Venus Rock, a 1,000-hectare site that will have three golf courses, 3,000 homes and a five-star hotel.

Dolphin has bought 60 per cent of Aristo, which is listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, from founder Theodoros Aristodimou in return for €128.7m and a 15 per cent interest in Dolphin Capital Atlantis, the acquisition vehicle.

Dolphin has bought a further 20 per cent of Aristo from its second largest shareholder for €57.9m. And the group will shortly launch a tender offer for the outstanding 20 per cent of shares for a further €57.9m.

The overall purchase price equates to €2.15 per share, a premium of 8.5 per cent to its last trading price. With debt of €149m, the acquisition gives Aristo an enterprise value of €438m.

The deal will double Dolphin’s landbank. Aristo’s projects in Cyprus and Greece are spread over 13m square metres of land with the potential to build the equivalent of 10,000 residential units.

The deal was the most important milestone in Dolphin’s growth, said Miltos Kambourides, managing partner of the group.

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