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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Investors in Countrywide prepare for bargaining with Connells

Various investors in Countrywide have submitted early online paperwork to The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers - the red tape required to progress possible takeover talks between Connells and Countrywide, revealed for the first time on Monday morning.

The Panel for Takeovers and Mergers is an independent body charged with ensuring fair treatment for shareholders; it administers the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers - a binding set of rules applying to all companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

Connells is not listed on the London Stock Exchange so the paperwork filed so far all relates to the Countrywide side, and comes from investors including Oaktree Capital Management, Brandes Investment Partners, Schroders PLC, Norges Bank and others.

They each filed a Form 8.3 indicating that they were shareholders in Countrywide with a share of 1.0 per cent or more of the company.

This bureaucracy is a standard part of a possible takeover, and does not in itself confirm that a bid is being made for Countrywide.

Connells operates some 25 brands with 600 offices, including Allen & Harris, Bagshaws Residential, Fox & Sons, and Barnard Marcus in London. Countrywide has some 50 brands, still operating around 725 offices despite many branch closures in recent months.

Countrywide has given Connells until 5pm on December 7 to announce a firm intention to make an offer for the company, or not.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    What is the real 'value' of Countrywide PLC' that is the most interesting question?

    At the start of November 2020, Purplebricks an agency with zero physical branches trading on the high street had listed (not sold) over 58,000 properties, Connells had listed over 18,000 and WH Brown over 19,000.

    So if the sale went through, are Connells getting rid of the competition? For sure the financial services element of Countrywide PLC is a good fit, but I just see that the 2025 property consumer, is not going to be walking into or engaging with physical branches.

    Putting aside the duplication of offices and the streamlining of this should the sale get past all the hurdles, is being the 'biggest' physical agent future proofing the profitability of Skipton Building society?

    As ever time will tell, but just as Rightmove in 2001 were on to a good thing with a new model, coming at the right time, Boomin an as yet untested model, is now showing that the portal/platform market has evolved, and I am not sure that acquiring Dinosaur Countrywide, if the sale happens will be a match made in heaven.

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