Landbank drops its 250m LSE launch

PROPERTY firm Landbank has abandoned plans for a &pound;250m share listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), in favour of raising money privately.<br /><br />The recently-launched firm had been pencilled to complete an initial public offering (IPO) today, under plans to raise capital to buy vast swathes of residential land from distressed housebuilders at bargain prices. It would then simply have to wait until markets recover to book vast profits.<br /><br />A source said: &ldquo;The company still hopes to raise a similar amount through a private deal, the process is still going on.&rdquo;<br /><br />Landbank chief executive Stevan Usher is a former land-buying director at Crest Nicholson. The company&rsquo;s board also includes Stephen Lidgate, former chief of Laing Homes. Liberum was the group&rsquo;s main financial adviser.<br /><br />Their decision to can the IPO comes after NewRiver Retail, another new UK property firm, last month suspended a plan for its own &pound;250m listing on the LSE. This was to have been arranged by Merrill Lynch.<br /><br />Max Property, which raised &pound;220m in a listing in May, is the only IPO to have taken place in the UK so far this year. <br /><br />It is set to soon be joined by London Residential Opportunities, also a property firm, set up to buy discounted residential flats in London.