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Estate agent plots IPO

Thursday 21 February 2013 6:00

The UK’s biggest estate agent group, Countrywide, is reportedly to return to the London stock market following six years in private ownership.

According to The Guardian, the group, which runs 931 branches through 46 brands such as Hamptons International and John D Wood and Co, hopes to raise £200m from the IPO.

As well as repaying debts, it will be used to expand the business that was forced into a debt-for-equity swap at the height of the credit crunch.

Chief executive Grenville Turner pointed to a revival in the housing market as affordable mortgages are available once more.