Businessman is one of richest in country

A SUFFOLK businessman has cemented his place as one of the richest people in the country after he sold his estate agency firm in a deal believed to have netted him a windfall of around £370million.

A SUFFOLK businessman has cemented his place as one of the richest people in the country after he sold his estate agency firm in a deal believed to have netted him a windfall of around £370million.

Jon Hunt, the founder of London's largest estate agency firm Foxtons, has sold the business to a private equity firm.

The owner of Heveningham Hall, near Halesworth, who is thought to own 97 per cent of the business, agreed a deal with BC Partners, reported to be worth up to £400m. The two companies did not provide any financial details.

Mr Hunt said: “I am happy to hand over the reins, knowing that what we have started has a very long way still to go and that all my colleagues at Foxtons will continue to prosper.”

Foxtons, made famous for its fleet of colourful minis, was founded 26 years ago from a single office in Notting Hill and now trades from a total of 19 offices in the capital and one in Guildford, Surrey. It also owns Alexander Hall, a mortgage broking business.

Mr Hunt was valued at £706m in the Sunday Times Rich List for 2007, giving him a position of 105th - up from 182nd a year earlier. The position was based on the business' estimated sale price of £400m.