Foxtons Flotation: Shares Soar On Debut
The resurgent property market is being credited for a "stunning" stock market debut for estate agency chain Foxtons.
It priced shares at the top end of estimates at 230p each ahead of its flotation on Friday morning, in a move that valued the London-focused agency at £649m and raised £390m.
But shares rose more than 20% on opening - climbing as high as 279p.
The company's chief executive, Michael Brown, said: "We are delighted that our initial public offering has been successfully received and there has been strong interest from investors.
"We welcome our new shareholders to Foxtons and we are looking forward to the next stage in the development of the business as a listed company."
Foxtons was bought for £375m at the peak of the market in 2007 by private equity firm BC Partners, which later admitted the acquisition was a "mistake" amid the credit crunch that followed its purchase.
The company was taken over by its lenders in 2010 in a deal which slashed its debt, before the private equity firm regained control last year.
It is the second major estate agency flotation of 2013 after Countrywide rejoined the stock market valued at more than £800m in March.
Foxtons is capitalising on surging house prices in the capital which, according to official figures earlier this week, rose nearly 10% in the past year.
The market has been inflated by demand from cash-rich foreign buyers as well as Government stimulus schemes, such as Help to Buy.
Foxtons, known for its distinctive fleet of Mini Coopers, typically sells properties for between £200,000 and £1.4m in upmarket parts of the capital and has said it is well placed to benefit from improvements in the housing market.
It has plans to open five to ten new branches a year between 2014 and 2018 and possibly expand in the South East in the longer term.