* Sets price range of 260-350 pence per share
* Seeking to raise 200 mln stg from sale of new stock
LONDON, March 6 Countrywide Holdings, Britain's
largest estate agent by revenue, is hoping to be valued at as
much as 750 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in its London listing
this month, two sources close to the deal said.
Countrywide has begun taking orders for the sale in a price
range of 260 pence to 350 pence per share, the sources said,
giving the company an overall valuation of 600 million pounds to
750 million pounds.
The offering of new shares, from which the company has said
it plans to raise 200 million pounds to repay debt and grow the
business, includes a 10 percent overallotment option, whereby
extra stock can be sold if investor demand is high.
Its private equity owners Oaktree Capital, Apollo Global and
Alchemy will not be reducing their stake, and have agreed not to
sell any shares for six months after the listing is completed.
Rising equity markets across Europe have fuelled a pick up
in new listings in recent months. British housebuilder Crest
Nicholson returned to the stock market last month and
home and motor insurer esure is currently marketing a share sale
to potential investors.
Countrywide is expected to set a final price for its shares
on March 19 and make its stock market debut the following day,
the sources said.
Countrywide, which sells and rents houses and flats, is
making a return to the stock market having been listed between
1986 and 2007 before it was taken private at the peak of the
market by U.S. private equity group Apollo.
Oaktree took control in 2009 via a debt for equity swap.
Goldman Sachs, Jefferies International and Credit Suisse are
bookrunners for the listing.