European private equity major BC Partners is close to buying British estate agency Foxtons for the second time, less than five years after the firm’s failed takeover that left it nursing losses of tens of millions of pounds.
According to the Sunday Times, BC bought the company from owner Jon Hunt for £360m in 2007 just before the property crash, but was forced to cede control to lenders in 2010. The firm later admitted the deal was a ‘mistake’.
In the past few days, BC is said to have bought the stake owned by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mizuho, which traded their loans for a combined 55 per cent stake in the business. This has left BC with a reduced stake of 30 per cent, the report said.
The transaction will reportedly value the company at between £225m and £250m. Foxton’s chief executive Michael Brown will retain the remaining 15 per cent holding.
BC is said to be capitalising on the company’s recent comeback following a cost cutting exercise, an increase in the size of its lettings division and an expansion in the number of its sales outlets, the report added.
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