(In fourth paragraph corrects to make clear relationship between RHJ and Ripplewood)
By Ehab Farouk
CAIRO, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Ripplewood has acquired a 10 percent stake in Egypt’s third-largest listed property developer SODIC for 217.17 million Egyptian pounds ($30.9 million), a source informed about the deal told Reuters on Thursday.
The deal would be Ripplewood’s second investment in Egypt this week, after the company said on Wednesday it had acquired a 2.3 percent stake in Palm Hills, the country’s second-largest listed property developer, and hoped to increase its stake over time.
Regional investment bank EFG Hermes had said on Wednesday it sold a part of its shares in SODIC, amounting to 9.9 percent of the company, but did not disclose who it sold it to. The sale cuts its stake in SODIC to 4.75 percent.
SODIC could not immediately comment. No one at EFG could be immediately reached for comment. No-one at RHJ International , a financial services group previously run by Ripplewood, could comment and no-one at Ripplewood in New York could be contacted outside regular U.S. business hours.
Last month SODIC ended a dispute with Egypt’s government, agreeing to pay 900 million pounds over seven years after a revaluation of its Eastown development project in Cairo.
Eastown is twice the size of London’s 97-acre Canary Wharf district and includes offices, shops and homes. The government had sought to revoke SODIC’s rights over the land because of delays in the development. ($1 = 7.0302 Egyptian Pounds) (Additional reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes)