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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Decision day over Countrywide’s commercial sell-off

Countrywide's senior management has won overwhelming backing from shareholders for its strategy of selling its commercial arm and consoliating its shares.

Earlier this month, in an unscheduled trading statement, Countrywide surprised the industry by describing LSH as "non-core” and saying it would be sold privately.

"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" says Countrywide executive chairman Peter Long. 

LSH is one of Britain's oldest and most respected commercial properties names, founded in 1773 but only a part of Countrywide since 2013. 

At that time Countrywide paid £34.1m in cash for LSH which has 33 offices and 1,400 employees; the sale being discussed will be to John Bengt Moeller who owns Great Global Holdings, a US-based retail-focused property empire.

The cash from the sale would “significantly improve Countrywide's capital structure following receipt of gross cash proceeds of £38m and allow the Countrywide Group to materially reduce its net debt” according to a statement from the company.

In addition to the sale agreement of LSH - and a share consolidation process - the general meeting will hear of the amended credit facility that Countrywide has negotiated with its lenders.

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