Foxtons owners hire banks to prepare float

Kasmira Jefford
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THE OWNER of estate agent chain Foxtons has hired investment banks to prepare the company for flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

BC Partners, the private equity firm which bought Foxtons back from its banks last year, has appointed Credit Suisse, Canaccord Genuity, and Numis Securities, to oversee the listing.

The appointments, which were first reported on Sky News, could value Foxtons at more than £400m.

It would also mark the latest in a string of big initial public offerings (IPOs), with Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency, coming to market most recently in March.

This year’s other big float was housebuilder Crest Nicholson, with both companies taking advantage of buoyant equity markets and a bounce back in the London’s housing market.

BC Partners acquired the chain for about £390m at the height of the buyout boom in March 2007, making an estimated £300m for founder Jon Hunt.

The firm was then seized by banks in 2010 after breaching its bank covenants. BC Partners then took back control last year.