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Countrywide meeting later this month to decide company fate

Countrywide is to hold a special general meeting on November 18 to consider its future ownership and structure.

Last month Countrywide group announced a £90m investment by Alchemy Partners, a private equity company that specialises in investing in distressed and undervalued or underperforming businesses.

But one of Countrywide’s largest existing shareholders, Catalist Partners, opposed the move. 


You can see more details of the Alchemy offer here and Catalist's proposals for the company here. 

Now the meeting on November 18 - set to be held virtually - will primarily discuss the Alchemy deal.

Meanwhile news broke over the weekend of the departure of chief operating officer Paul Chapman.

He was the most senior member of Countrywide’s management team below executive chairman and chief executive.

Chapman joined Countrywide nine years ago as head of field operations. He then went on to become national managing director for sales and lettings, taking over as COO when a controversial appointment to the role - Bruce Marsh, a Tesco executive - pulled out of the job before even starting in late 2019. 

The removal of both executive chairman Peter Long and group managing director Paul Creffield - closely associated with the failed Back To Basics turnaround programme - has been requested by Alchemy as part of its investment proposal for the company.

Last month Estate Agent Today ran a series of exclusives on widespread branch closures and redundancies in the company; Countrywide chose not to comment on most of the stories, although did give EAT one statement saying: "Our branches and our colleagues who work within them remain at the heart of our customer offering. As a responsible business we must constantly assess our branch footprint, the customers they serve and their profitability. We have recently agreed to opening new branches where the market opportunity exits.”

It has declined to identify where it opened or would be opening new branches, and has not responded to a request for a comment on the departure of Paul Chapman. 


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