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Private equity firm close to buying a third share in London and Country – reports

  • 28/03/2017
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Private equity firm close to buying a third share in London and Country – reports
Corsair Capital is close to buying a third of large UK fee-free broker firm London and Country, according to a report in the Financial Times.

London and Country (L&C) declined to comment to Mortgage Solutions.

However, L&C has been looking strategically at potential investors and the reported 30% minority stake values the firm at £150m ahead of eventual flotation plans.

Corsair is a private equity firm specialising in transformational or recapitalization equity investments in financial services firms.

L&C appointed Fenchurch, a corporate finance advice firm last summer to review its strategic options which included a sale or Initial Public Offering (IPO) and originally earmarked December 2018 for an IPO subject to market conditions.

Pre-IPO investment is required to enhance its online capabilities and raise brand awareness, for example through a TV advertising campaign as well as appointing staff to support London & Country’s management and corporate governance structure.

Last year, managing director Phil Cartwright said: “We see an opportunity to create significant value in the next few years. The business is at the forefront of investment in distribution technology and is extremely well positioned to take advantage of shifting trends in the way consumers buy financial products.”

In 2015, the firm advised on £8.5bn of mortgages and received £8.5m of profit before tax.

London & Country is majority owned by its chairman, Mike Edge, who the FT suggests will remain a significant shareholder after the deal.

In 2014, Mortgage Advice Bureau, headed up by CEO Peter Brodnicki, announced its intention to list on the Alternative Investment Market and was valued at £81m days ahead of flotation in November 2015 and was valued at £192.6m this week.

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