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L enjoyed a strong stock market debut on Friday, seeing its stock rise well above its offer price in what could be seen as a vote of confidence in the housing market particularly in London where Foxtons is focused. Shrugging off some concerns that its core property market might be overheating, the shares opened 19 percent above the pence offer price - itself at the top of a targeted range between p and p - to value the company at around million pounds.

By GMT they were trading at Foxtons sold 60 percent of its equity to become the latest UK property-related company to float on the back of a recovering housing market, following real estate agency Countrywide CWD. L earlier this year. Both have seen their shares rise more than 50 percent since going public, but some investors said last week Foxtons was late to the party and too exposed to London. Data last week showed British house prices recorded their fastest rise in almost seven years.

However, despite being wary of proposed further government stimulus measures, housebuilding analyst Tony Williams said London was not yet experiencing a market bubble and rising interest rates in coming years would act as a natural brake. Foxtons, which last year earned more than half its revenue from its lettings business, is focused on expansion within London, home to 40 of its 42 branches, and has said it is aiming for five to 10 new branch openings a year between and A Foxtons estate agent sign is seen outside a branch in north London September 3, While London prices have recovered to 6 percent above their pre-crash peak, in the rest of the country they are still 10 percent below.

BC Partners reduced its stake from 75 percent to Foxtons Chief Executive Michael Brown stands to pocket The company, known for its cafe-style branches and the distinctive Mini Cooper cars driven by its sales staff, also raised 55 million pounds from selling new shares to reduce debt.

N was a large investor, buying an 8. Slideshow 3 Images The float marks a milestone for BC, which has had a chequered history with Foxtons since first buying it for about million pounds in The agency came to epitomize the woes of the private equity industry as plummeting sales pushed it into breach of the terms on its debt. BC, which ceded control of Foxtons to its lenders in before taking majority ownership again last year, is on track to make a return of close to three times its investment, a person familiar with matter said.

VX and Numis Securities acted as joint bookrunners on the offering, while Canaccord Genuity was co-lead manager. The advisors will receive fees of 2 percent of the offer size, plus a possible discretionary fee of 1 percent.


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UK estate agent Foxtons makes $1.2 billion stock market debut


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