£1bn IPO is finally on for retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone

Emma Haslett
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The company has a 70 per cent market share (Source: McCarthy & Stone)

After years of rumours, retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone finally announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange today, an IPO which City A.M. understands could give the company a valuation of £1bn.

McCarthy & Stone, which said it has a 70 per cent share of the UK's owner-occupied retirement property market, hopes to raise net primary proceeds of £70m, along with a secondary offer which will allow existing shareholders to sell down their stake. The company is expected to have a free float of at least 25 per cent.

Demand for retirement property in the UK is on an upward trajectory as the population ages: revenues rose 25 per cent in the year to £485.7m the end of August, with underlying profit before tax increasing 40 per cent to £88.4m.

It acquired 90 new development sites in 2015, pushing its land bank up to 10,087 plots - equivalent to 5.2 years' supply, it said.

"There is a structural under-supply of specialist retirement housing in the UK and McCarthy & Stone has the expertise, track record and financial strength to address this need," said Clive Fenton, the company's chief exec.

"Listing on the London Stock Exchange will provide the ideal foundation for the group to move to the next stage of its development and the Board and I will continue to work hard to deliver on our ambitious growth plans."

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