Foxtons’ former owners book £32m dividend

Kasmira Jefford
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ESTATE agents Foxtons, which is preparing for a stock market listing, forked out a £32m dividend to its previous owners last year, its latest set of results show.

Mizuho and Bank of America received the bumper dividend as part of a final payment for their interest in the business, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

The two lenders seized control of the business in 2010 via a debt-for-equity swap before private equity firm BC Partners regained control last year, buying out the banks’ stakes.

The accounts, filed by Foxtons’ parent company Adnams BBPM Group last week, show sales rose 2.8 per cent to £117.7m in the year to 31 December compared with £114.5m the previous year, although pre-tax profits almost halved from £20.3m to £11.7m.

However underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation hit a record £37.9m, up from £37.1m in 2011.

The group, which has 42 branches in and around the capital, said over half of revenues were generated by its lettings business compared with a third in 2007.

Foxtons’ owners BC partners hired investment banks in June to prepare the company for flotation on the London Stock Exchange at some point in the autumn.

It would mark the latest in a string of listings this year, with fellow agency Countrywide coming to market recently in March.