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Connells completes £130m Countrywide takeover

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  • 04/01/2021
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Connells completes £130m Countrywide takeover
Connells and Countrywide have agreed on a £130m takeover deal which was accepted by 51 per cent of Countrywide's shareholders.

 

Each share has been valued at 395 pence, a 58 per cent increase from the initial offer of 250 pence per share. 

The acquisition has provided a lifeline to Countrywide which risked falling into administration following debts of £91.9m. The deal will be completed during the first quarter of the year and Countrywide’s lenders will be repaid in full.  

Connells also said it would primarily focus on investing in Countrywide to grow the business. 

Countrywide’s 651 branches will join the portfolio of Connells Group’s existing 581. 

Connells Group chief executive David Livesey said: “I am delighted that we have reached agreement with the Countrywide board and major Countrywide shareholders on a recommended acquisition of Countrywide.  

We believe that the acquisition is a great deal for all stakeholders.

“Our primary motivation for the acquisition is to invest in and grow the Countrywide business. We believe that we have the right management team, strategy and investment firepower to work with the talented teams at Countrywide and lead Countrywide into a bright future, he added.  

The bidding process had been a fierce competition between Connells and private equity firm Alchemy Group with heated words between the pair and also saw the departure of Countrywide’s executive chairman and group managing director.

David Watson, acting non-executive chairman of Countrywide, said: “Following a thorough evaluation of options and extensive consultation with the company’s major shareholders, we have been encouraged by their recognition of the need to put in place a sustainable capital structure and a willingness to support the company, which is a great business that has been constrained by too much debt. 

“This significantly improved offer from Connells allows Countrywide shareholders to realise their investment in cash at a price that fairly values the opportunities and risks of the business.”

He added: “We are pleased to recommend this offer, which is supported by our major shareholders, and puts the company on a stronger footing, securing the future of the business, its customers and its employees.” 

 

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