Foxtons, the London estate agency whose fleet of liveried Minis were synonymous with the property boom, has breached its banking covenants and its UK private equity backer has ruled out a bailout of the business.

Stung by negative headlines over its ill-timed buy-out of the Foxtons estate agency chain, private equity group BC Partners yesterday held a rare press conference to outline changes in its investment portfolio, leadership and strategy.

Admitting it had made a mistake with Foxtons, BC Partners said that coverage of the £360m deal had been overblown, as its equity investment in the company was only about £50m, or 1% of its latest €5.9bn (£5.3bn) fund.

Financial Times, The Times, The Independent