Oaktree-backed Countrywide ups minimum asking price for London IPO


news_stockmarket2.lrgPrivate equity-backed British estate agency Countrywide Holdings has reportedly lifted the minimum asking price for its shares ahead of its planned IPO in London.

A report by Reuters, which cited two sources close to the deal, said the firm has narrowed the price range for its London listing to between 330 pence and 350 pence from 260 to 350 pence previously.

Countrywide, which is backed by buyout firm Oaktree Capital Management, expects to raise £200m from the IPO.

The company plans to use the fresh funds to reduce its £250m debt pile and refinance a £100m facility as well as expand the business.

Oaktree invested in Countywide in February 2009, taking over from US buyout group Apollo Global Management, which acquired the company for $1bn in 2007.

The deal saw Countrywide’s debt burden cut significantly and the distressed specialist invest a further £110m for a 50 per cent stake.

Earlier in 2013 AltAssets reported that Oaktree was targeting $3bn for its latest mid-market vehicle aimed at making control investments in troubled companies.

In February Oaktree and TPG backed housebuilder Taylor Morrison doubled the target for its upcoming IPO to $500m amid a resurgent housing market in the US.

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