LONDON, June 6 Private equity-backed British
estate agent Foxtons has hired three banks to run a planned
London stock market listing, a person familiar with the matter
said on Thursday.
The move follows the successful London stock market debut
earlier this year of Countrywide Holdings, Britain's
largest estate agency by revenue, whose shares are trading more
than 35 percent above their listing price.
Private equity group BC Partners, the majority owner of
Foxtons, has appointed Credit Suisse, Canaccord
Genuity and Numis Securities to run the share sale, said the
source, who declined to be named, as it looks to take advantage
of London's buoyant housing market.
BC Partners and Foxtons declined to comment.
Data from mortgage lender Nationwide last month showed
British house prices rose in May at their fastest annual rate
since November 2011, buoyed by a Bank of England initiative to
reduce the cost of credit.
House prices in London have been particularly resilient,
supported by international demand, with the market seen as a
safe haven at a time of uncertainty in the euro area.
The British government's "Help to Buy" scheme, unveiled in
its March budget, which offers home-buyers subsidised mortgages
is also helping boost the market.
BC Partners has had a chequered history with Foxtons - which
has 42 offices, mainly in London - since first buying it in
The estate agency chain came to epitomise the woes of the
private equity industry as plummeting sales pushed it into
breach of the terms on its debt, as the credit crisis deepened.
BC ceded control of Foxtons to its lenders in 2010, before
taking majority ownership again last year.