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Crest Nicholson (CRST), the housebuilder taken private six years ago is returning to the market through what will be the biggest initial public offering so far this year. Around 40 per cent of the group will be up for grabs, and the price was set at 220p a share, valuing the whole group at around £553m, still some way below the £715m paid by the original purchasers HBOS and entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter in March 2007. Of the £225m raised, around £169m will go to existing stakeholders Deutsche Bank and US investment group Varde Investment Partners, while the balance will be used to pay down debt.