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Linklaters and Ashurst win roles as housebuilder Countryside Properties prepares to float

Linklaters and Ashurst have landed roles advising UK property developer Countryside Properties as it prepares to list on the London Stock Exchange, in a float likely to value the housebuilder at around £1bn.

Countryside, which is owned by private-equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) to raise £114m.

Linklaters is advising Countryside and its main shareholder Oaktree Capital, led by corporate partner James Wootton, alongside corporate partner John Lane and US capital markets partner Patrick Sheil. This is the second IPO the Magic Circle firm has advised on this month, having represented online spread-betting company CMC Markets on its plans to float in what will be the first IPO of 2016.

Ashurst is advising the underwriting banks JP Morgan, Barclays, Numis and Peel Hunt, with a team led by ECM head Nicholas Holmes, and partner Jennifer Schneck advising on the US securities side.

Countryside aims to use around £64m made from the IPO to reduce its debts by repaying amounts drawn on its revolving credit facilities. The remaining £50m raised will be used to speed up development in the group’s other sites.

The listing is expected in February and follows a strong year for the nation’s housebuilders that have benefited from a steady rise in property prices and increasing demand.

After completion of the offer the free float is expected to be a minimum of 25% of the issued share capital of the company and that the group will be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK indices.