Countrywide’s share price yesterday went from little over 7p to 360p in one fell swoop.
Is it the end of uncertainty about the troubled company after years of management crises? Is it new-found confidence in the housing market as 2020 dawns?
No, the answer is highly technical - and does not suggest Countrywide has won any greater confidence from existing or future investors.
Countrywide yesterday enacted a share consolidation, a process done by companies - usually when they feel embarrassed that their share price is just a few pence. The move was agreed by shareholders last week, as reported here on Estate Agent Today.
The consolidation sees one ‘new’ share issued to existing shareholders in return for a larger number of their ‘old’ shares.
Here is the announcement made by Countrywide to its shareholders yesterday morning:
“Countrywide announces that the share consolidation has become effective today.
“Admission of Countrywide's new ordinary shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange's market for listed securities will take place at 8:00 a.m. today (or as soon as practicable thereafter) …
“The proportion of Countrywide's issued ordinary share capital held by each shareholder immediately before and after the share consolidation will remain unchanged (subject to the treatment of fractional entitlements).
“Shareholders who held their ordinary shares in CREST prior to the consolidation will have the new ordinary shares credited to their CREST accounts as soon as practicable today. Shareholders who held their ordinary shares in certificated form will have replacement share certificates posted (at the risk of the Shareholder) to them, which are expected to be dispatched on or around 14 January 2020.
“As a result of the share consolidation, the Group's issued share capital now consists of 32,826,068 ordinary shares of £0.01 each, of which 63,049 shares are held in treasury.
“The total number of voting rights is now 32,763,019 and this figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, new ordinary shares in Countrywide under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.”