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Business News

Crest crosses the ocean for roadshow

The investor roadshow for the flotation of housebuilder Crest Nicholson moves to the UK this week, as its chief executive Stephen Stone tries to seal a valuation of up to £580m for the group.

Having been taken private just before the credit crunch struck in 2007, Crest was overloaded with debt. It struggled after the Scottish tycoon Sir Tom Hunter took the company out in a £715m deal backed by HBOS. However, the housebuilder has restored its balance sheet since being taken over by the US hedge fund Varde in 2011.

Crest started bookbuilding in the US last week. The US market was important as housebuilding has been strong across the pond for some time.

Mr Stone hopes to launch the flotation of the 50-year-old business in the middle of the month, raising around £200m – the vast majority of which will buy out existing investors. Crest should raise about £50m in equity which would be used to pay-off debt and help build on strong results. Crest has set the price range for shares to trade at between 195p and 230p a share, meaning that its lowest valuation would be around £490m.