Friday, 19 October 2007

Russian 'Bear' fund backed by Kelly mulls €1bn listing

Irish Independent

By Jason Corcoran in Moscow

Thursday October 18 2007

A Russian-property fund, backed by Irish property developer and hotelier Paddy Kelly, is mulling a €1bn listing on the London Stock Exchange in February of next year.

The fund, which has the working name of Celtic Bear, will invest in high profile projects throughout Russia in conjunction with local partners.

UK stockbroker Cenkos Securities had been appointed to explore the possibility of a flotation although sources said market conditions, investor appetite and finding the right sites would determine whether it gets the final green light.

Julian Morse, a partner at Cenkos, said: "We are closing in on the final stages of a decision. An IPO is one of the options we are looking at for the fund."

Redquartz specialises in the creation and development of areas mixed with commercial buildings, residential, commercial, hotel and recreational facilities.

The company intends to implement a total of 15 real estate projects, mainly in Russia's regional cities.

Inspiration for the projects is being drawn from Kelly's experiences in redeveloping the Smithfield and Docklands areas of Dublin .

Jerry Ryan, managing director of Horan Keoghan Ryan (HKR) Architects, has been brought on board after working with Kelly on projects in Florida.

Representatives from Kelly's investment vehicle, Redquartz International, and his associates are believed to be close to signing a number of contracts with domestic partners in Moscow.

Kelly is to be an investor in the fund and an ambassador but his role is yet to be determined. Celtic Bear hopes to raise funds from investors in Ireland, UK and Russia .

Kelly, who is currently trying to acquire the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Florida, has spent time in Moscow recently meeting potential partners.

- Jason Corcoran

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