UK – Bulgarian Property Developments – which focuses on property developments, trading and investment – is planning to raise up to £40m (€59.4m) through the placing of new shares to capitalise on its existing six-site property portfolio.

The issuing of the new ordinary shares at 55p per share is expected to start on roughly 11 January 2006.

The additional funds will be used to exploit the existing potential of BPD’s Bulgarian-based sites in Sofia and the popular ski resort Bansko, and to acquire and develop more land.

“We will be able to expand our operation and develop our existing sites. The last 10 months have allowed us to accumulate strategic sites in great locations for commercial development,” said BPD chief executive Ivo Hesmondhalgh.

“Bulgaria is a great growth market for commercial property. We have over the last 11 months demonstrated that our strategy works and have assembled a great team to put execute it.”

He added that the company now needed the money to take BPD to the next stage.

Since BPD’s initial public offering at the start of this year, the company has assembled a property portfolio consisting of five strategically located sites in Sofia and one Bansko.

The Sofia sites are reportedly suitable for commercial development, while the Bansko site will be used for residential development.

Hesmondhalgh told IPE: “We have nearly completed the rezoning process. We are seeking multi national tenants who wish offices/warehousing/distribution centres. We will enter into a contract to build them what they want, simultaneously they will enter into a lease with us for 10 years plus.”

He also stated that the company is planning to extend its property portfolio even further.

“We are land acquisition experts. In the last 10 to 11 months we have executed 33 deals and signed contracts with approx 250 owners. This is one of our core activities,” he stated. “Value uplift occurs at each stage.”

According to Hesmondhalgh, there is not a great deal of competition in the Bulgarian market due to the scarcity of large sites suitable for commercial development around Sophia.

He told IPE Real Estate that the company had also exchanged contracts for the sale of another one of their sites on the eastern side of the Sophia ring road.

“The deal is conditional on rezoning being granted. We are almost 100% sure that we will get rezoning,” he said.