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Countrywide sells LSH for £38m and restructures shareholding

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  • 29/11/2019
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Countrywide sells LSH for £38m and restructures shareholding
Countrywide has sold Lambert Smith Hampton for £38m as the embattled estate agency looks to reduce its debt and strengthen its business.

 

Its non-core UK commercial real estate consultancy and transactional business has been sold to John Bengt Moeller, chairman of American real estate company Great Global Holdings, in a deal subject to shareholder approval. 

A general meeting with shareholders is due to be held and with their approval, the deal is expected to be completed on 31 December. 

The group said the sale would help it focus on its core business and reduce its £211m debt which was reported at the end of 2018 financial year.

In its full-year preliminary results for 2018, the company reported losses of £218.2m despite generating a record £20bn in mortgage business. 

It also approved a £140m rescue plan backed by majority shareholder Oaktree Capital to help decrease the debt burden. 

Peter Long, executive chairman of Countrywide, said: “The sale of the Lambert Smith Hampton commercial business strengthens the group. Once completed, we believe that the group will be in a more advantageous position in our core residential market.   

“The group remains on course to deliver a full year result in line with the board’s expectations.” 

 

Restructuring plans 

Countrywide has also proposed a 50 for one share consolidation and has issued 1,641,303,439 ordinary shares each with a value of £0.01. This means 50 existing shares will be reassigned into one share for 1p and 49 deferred shares of 1p. 

The board said it believed this would improve market liquidity by reducing the volatility and spread as well as make its shares “more attractive”. 

Further to this, the group agreed an amended credit facility with its lenders which will aim to provide it with the financial flexibility to execute its turnaround plan while it continues to operate. 

 

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