Foxtons, the estate agent backed by BC Partners, has announced its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange.
Foxtons will issue new shares to raise approximately £55 million, of which the net proceeds will be used in full to repay existing debt, according to a statement. It is expected that following the initial public offering, which will take place in September, Foxtons will have wiped out its debt load.
BC Partners declined to comment.
The floatation will be a partial exit for BC Partners, according to the statement, though the exact size of the stake is unknown. It is understood that the Foxtons IPO could value the business at more than £400 million, which would reportedly give BC Partners a 2x return.
BC Partners bought Foxtons for £375 million in 2007 just weeks before the London housing market collapsed. The firm invested from its €5.8 billion BC European Capital VIII, a 2005 vintage. Foxtons was restructured in 2010, with BC Partners injecting fresh equity but losing its majority stake. The firm regained control of the company in 2012 when it repurchased the equity stakes from Foxton’s lenders.
“Obviously, we made the wrong call on the market,” Andrew Newington, a former managing partner at BC, told reporters back in 2009.