FOXTONS confirmed plans yesterday to list on the London Stock Exchange and to raise £55m by offering new shares to help pay down its remaining debt.
The London-focused estate agency said the initial public offering will also see Adnams BBPM Holdings, a vehicle controlled by its private equity owners BC Partners, sell a partial stake in the business.
Foxtons’ management team, which reportedly owns a 20 per cent stake in the company, will also be able to sell shares.
A spokesperson declined to comment on the exact size of the stake BC Partners and the directors plan to sell, but the company is expected to have a free float of around 50 per cent.
Directors, Adnams and other shareholders will also agree to a so-called lock-up arrangement, preventing them from selling all of their shares for a certain period of time.
Countrywide, which floated in March, shortened its initial six-month lock up last month and allowed investors Oaktree and Apollo to cash in shares worth £209.9m, citing investor appetite for the stock.
Recent government measures to spur housing demand have helped to push the market into a recovery, and investors seem keen to tap into demand.
Foxtons, which has 42 offices in and around London, has also seen trading improve and posted record underlying earnings of £37.9m last year.
The group said it is initially targeting an annual dividend of between 35 and 40 per cent of after-tax profits.
Foxtons has hired an army of bankers to advise on its listing, recruiting Numis and Credit Suisse as joint book runners and sponsors on the float, Canaccord Genuity as co-lead manager and Rothschild as financial adviser. The team at Numis includes Heraclis Economides, a managing director in corporate finance, Alex Ham, co-head of corporate broking and junior banker Richard Thomas. Economides has been busy of late, advising on construction group Kier’s £221m takeover of May Gurney, which completed last month. He also helped student housing firm Unite Group with its £51m share placing in June.
On the Credit Suisse side, Foxtons sought advice from the same team of bankers who acted for rival estate agency Countrywide on its return to market earlier this year. Jon Grussing, Credit Suisse’s global markets solutions head and co-chair of its European investment banking committee, is working on the deal with Simon Taurins, managing director of its consumer group, and Nick Williams, head of equity capital markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The team of bankers at Canaccord Genuity includes Roger Lambert, chairman of corporate broking, and Martin Green, managing director of corporate finance and broking.