Crest Nicholson float values firm at £553m

Crest Nicholson this morning set a price of 220p a share for its London IPO, valuing the company at £553m.

The property group said today it expected to raise gross proceeds of around £224.9m, comprising a primary component of £56m and secondary sales of £168.9m from existing shareholders.

The shares will start trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning under the ticker CRST.

The 50-year-old firm said it would return to the stock market on 21 January, five years after it was taken over as a result of the market crash.

Barclays and HSBC acted as joint sponsors, joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners in relation to the offer. Numis acted as lead manager while Lazard was the financial adviser.

"It’s good to see a high profile IPO so early in the year. It seems to have been quite a success, with the shares being priced towards the upper end of the range, indicating that there was decent demand from investors," said Chris Searle, capital markets partner at accountant BDO.

"Whether the success of the Crest Nicholson IPO heralds a general upturn in the fortunes of the London IPO market remains to be seen but, together with the general improvement in sentiment since the start of the year, this is an encouraging early sign for IPOs."