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Countrywide investors reject private equity deal as boss quits

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  • 24/11/2020
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Countrywide investors reject private equity deal as boss quits
Countrywide shareholders have rejected a deal to hand control of the group to a private equity firm, as the top boss stepped down from the beleaguered estate agent.

 

Alchemy Partners were to inject £90m into the troubled property chain in return for a stake of more than half the company.

Countrywide said it is now considering a deal with Alchemy on amended terms, as well as a potential £82m takeover by rival Connells which strongly criticised the firm’s leadership.

Countrywide said the board is continuing to engage with all major shareholders and also considered a capital raise from these existing investors.

At the same time, it was announced that Peter Long has stepped down from his role as executive chairman and retired as a director of the company.

Paul Creffield, group managing director is also retiring from the company with effect from today, and will retire as a director at the end of March 2021.

Philip Bowcock has now been appointed as interim chief executive.

He was previously boss at William Hill and will lead discussions with shareholders.

A search has begun for a new independent chair.

Long said: “This business has many underlying strengths and a terrific group of people. It was always my intention to step back when we found the right figure to take Countrywide forward, and Philip is that person.  The business is in good hands.”

 

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