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Major Countrywide shareholder rejects investment proposal

One of Countrywide’s largest shareholders has come out against a £90m investment package in the company proposed by a private equity firm.

Early today 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 now Catalist Partners has issued a statement saying: "Catalist Partners notes Countrywide’s announcement this morning. As one of the Company’s largest shareholders, Catalist strongly opposes this unnecessary, ill-judged and dilutive transaction which, while clearly a very attractive deal for Alchemy, is destructive for shareholders and only serves to fund the continuation of a flawed 'back to basics' business plan.”


Catalist Partners has around 10 per cent of Countrywide’s shares; it is led by agency industry veteran Robin Paterson who was an influential figure behind Hamptons International and Barnard Marcus in the 1990s.

'Back to Basics' was the name given to a business initiative started two years ago by executive chairman Peter Long and de facto chief executive Paul Creffield, aimed at increasing investment in Countrywide's traditional branch structure. 

Both Long and Creffield are to step down as a condition of the Alchemy proposal, which has to be agreed by shareholders before it can go ahead. 

You can see more details of the Alchemy offer here.

This now looks very much like a battle for the future ownership of Countrywide; you can see an earlier letter outlining Catalist's proposals for the company here. 

  • Andrew Ireland

    Ha Ha Ha!! They had an offer for the business and didn't even bother to consult share holders but announce it anyway to bounce every one along. Ha Ha Ha!!

  • Proper Estate Agent

    With some companies you just have to recognise when you're "flogging a dead horse".

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    90 MILLION HERE......100 MILLION THERE ! My company has never "borrowed" money in 20 yrs of operating.......and we're still making healthy profits (best ever).....GET YOUR COSTS DOWN COUNTRYWIDE - THATS "GETTING BACK TO BASICS" !

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    The sooner that someone takes firm control of Countrywide the better. Forget Alchemy, maybe start with some great talent - I am unsure but is not that ex-Countrywide stalwart Gary Barker now available?

    Imagine that - someone with an agency and tech brain, knowledge of the brand and a proven record of generating real profit in a short period of time, and a deep understanding of figures, which I always think is maybe the most important factor. It is not finance that is required, it is a management team that can move this juggernaut forward.

    On this I was just thinking today, how many people in the last week alone mentioned Mr reliable Bob Scarfe. Another publication recently ran a survey on the top influencers in agency ... in terms of people he motivated and who look up to him, even though they are now elevated, I know of no-one else who should have held the top spot.


    Andrew, there is so much innovation out there now, they just need to enbrace it. They seem a bit stuck in the dark ages.

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    • 22 October 2020 13:45 PM

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    • 22 October 2020 13:56 PM

    Alchemy Partners are renowned for buying ailing companies, breaking them up and feeding them to the dogs. Countrywide seems to fit that mould very well and there will be a great deal of blood on the wall before this is all over. Pity the likes of the decent agents such as John D Wood, Hamptons etc who will now surely be consolidated with many staff being made redundant in order to cut costs. Another gloomy day for Countrywide staff with the share price falling off a cliff at the turmoil of todays various announcements.


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