Banks take control of estate agent in emergency refinancing move

Banks take control of estate agent in emergency refinancing move



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Banks have taken over the well-known London estate agent, Foxtons, in an emergency move to reduce its debts. 

The estate agent, which has debts of around £300 million, has seen the sum reduced to £120 million in exchange for Bank of America and Mizuho becoming majority shareholders.

 

The two banks have taken the business over from private equity firm, BC Partners, which bought the estate agents for £360 million in May 2007 – at the height of the property boom.

 

Although profits at Foxtons had been rising in the last few months, along with the capital’s property values, BC Partners had been struggling to renegotiate the loans it took out in order to fund the takeover from Foxtons founder, Jon Hunt.

 

According to newspaper reports, the group’s management will receive a minority stake of up to 20% - which depends on whether they hit performance targets.

 

Foxtons is best known for being one of the most aggressive estate agents in the UK, with flashy offices and a fleet of green Mini cars emblazoned with the company logo.

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