Ashurst and Dickson Minto among firms advising on £400m Foxtons’ IPO

Dickson Minto is understood to be advising long term client BC Partners on the flotation of estate agency Foxtons, which is expected to raise as much as £400m.

In June, the London-based private equity house hired Credit Suisse, Numis Securities and Canaccord Genuit to run a listing after the summer. The filing, which was initially slated for September, could take place as soon as 27 August.

It is thought that the timetable was escalated to ensure Foxtons secures money from investors before companies such as Royal Mail and Wizz Air prepare September IPOs.

BC Partners bought Foxtons in 2007 for £360m with about £300m of bank debt, before the company ran into financial difficulties in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The private equity house had to cede control of the business to its banks, before last year buying back a majority stake for up to £75m.

The move comes after Foxtons’ larger rival, Countrywide, pulled off a successful £750m float in March 2013 advised by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Slaughter and May and Sullivan & Cromwell (20 February 2013).

It is understood that Ashurst is advising the banks on the deal, with a team led by corporate partner Nick Bryans.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher is acting as US and international counsel for BC Partners alongside Dickson Minto.

Background to this deal:

Both Ashurst and Dickson Minto were involved in Foxtons’ 2007 sale to BC Partners – Ashurst advising the estate agency, and Dickson Minto the purchasers (4 June 2007).

Foxtons is a longstanding client of Ashurst, while BC Partners remains one of Dickson Minto’s key clients.