Empireal float still in contention for 2017

Empireal float still in contention for 2017
Empireal float still in contention for 2017

Grenville Turner, the former chairman of one Britain’s biggest real estate firms, Countrywide, is still tipped to chair LJ Hooker, the agency business with plans to list on the stock exchange next year.

The Australian reported its $400m initial public offering had been scheduled for September but postponed by market volatility in the wake of a string of profit downgrades from its beleaguered rival McGrath.

The Australian's DataRoom column previously revealed LJ Hooker intended to mimic Countrywide’s success in Britain by creating a firm that housed rival estate agency brands.

Merger talks were well advanced with Victorian estate agency Barry Plant.

The enlarged entity would have created a $400 million business known as Empireal.

LJH is majority-owned by Janusz Hooker, a scion of the founding dynasty.

Around six investors, including at least two hedge funds, tipped in $22m in a pre-IPO capital raising late last year.

The convertible preference shares, which allow the investors to buy stock at lower than the IPO price, are due to expire at the end of 2017.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Real Estate

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