Give and take

Finally I’ve found somebody who thinks that Help to Buy 2 is a good idea: the private equity owners of Foxtons.

I’m obviously exaggerating for effect here (I was just reminded of Simon Jenkins too for starters) but the London estate agent is famous for three things: its flashy sponsored Mini Coopers; the pushiness of its staff; and the timing of its sale in 2007. The founder of the company sold out to private equity firm BC Partners for £360 million just months before house prices and transactions crashed.

After a rare apology from BC Partners to its investors, and a rocky road to recovery, Foxtons is set to return to the stock market next month with a valuation of up to £500 million.  That spectacular turnaround may have a bit to do with some canny financial engineering but, as the Financial Times reports this morning, it has far more to do with the fact that its timing could hardly be better.

Read the rest of this post on Inside Edge, my blog for Inside Housing


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