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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide passes latest fund-raising test despite falling short

In yet another statement to the London Stock Exchange and shareholders, Countrywide says its last-gasp £140m fund-raising is likely to be supported - despite falling short in its bid for acceptances for its cash-call placing.

On August 2 the company made the long-awaited cash call for £140m with applications for shares closing at the end of last week.

Now the firm says: “The company has received valid acceptances in respect of 206,578,406 Open Offer Shares under the Open Offer. This represents approximately 72.34% of the Open Offer Shares offered pursuant to the Open Offer. 

“Accordingly, the remaining 79,002,025 Open Offer Shares, representing approximately 27.66% of the Open Offer Shares will be allocated to the Conditional Placees with whom the Open Offer Shares had been conditionally placed under the Placing.”

There is one further obstacle for Countrywide’s beleaguered management to overcome, and that is the company’s general meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, August 28.

However, the company says it is optimistic that the cash call will be endorsed by its shareholders - substantial large scale investors have already given their support - and if this is the case, dealing in the new shares will commence at 8am on Thursday August 30.

Yesterday the company made an unscheduled announcement to the London Stock Exchange, doing a U-turn on a deal which could have seen its three most senior executives receive some £20m in incentive payments.

There was a huge backlash last week when it was revealed that part of Countrywide’s ‘Absolute Growth Plan’ included a senior management incentive package, within which executive chairman Peter Long could receive stock worth well over £6m, while group managing director Paul Creffield could receive shares valued over £8m, and chief financial officer Himanshu Raja receive shares valued at more than £7m.

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