Miller ditches float plans

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House builder and property firm Miller Group has scrapped plans to float its housing unit, blaming volatile financial market conditions.

The move comes after Nationwide earlier this week said house prices in September fell back 0.2​ per cent​ from a record high registering the first month-on-month decrease in more than a year.

​Last month ​Miller​ said it was seeking a market debut for its homes division in a move that could have valued Miller Homes at more than £450​m.

The country’s largest privately owned house builder said: “In light of the recent financial markets volatility, the shareholders of Miller Group have elected not to proceed at this time with a public offering of Miller Homes.

“The shareholders are excited to support Miller Homes in its next phase of growth as the company builds upon the momentum evidenced in its recent operational and financial results.”

Shore Capital analyst Robin Hardy said the float may have been shelved because Miller disagreed with investors over the valuation of the unit.

Mr Hardy added: “It is a shame that Miller has pulled the initial public offering as it would have been beneficial to have new, smaller and hopefully faster growing businesses in the sector.

“The reasons given for pulling the float are a little hard to accept as the market has only really been volatile for a few days and the sector’s own performance until this week has been reasonably stable.”

In August Miller said its homes unit saw legal completions jump 28.2​ per cent​ to 855 units in the six months to June 30 as it saw pre-tax profit before interest and exceptional items almost triple to £19.1​m​ compared ​with​ a year ago.

Miller Group, which also includes commercial development and mining operations, did not give any further details in its statement about when or if it would revive the plans to float its homes unit.