The saga over the future of Countrywide continues with the company urging its shareholders to take “no action” over the latest offer by rival agency group Connells.
As we have been reporting the company’s board last week rejected a 250p per share cash by Connells, but this was yesterday increased dramatically to 325p per share - over 25 per cent premium on the Countrywide share price yesterday morning.
The deal would take Countrywide back into private ownership and see all of its lenders repaid in full.
The City liked the Connells offer, with Countrywide's share price booming by more than a fifth in trading yesterday, closing at a fresh 10-month high after a 20 per cent rise.
Meanwhile last week the private equity firm Alchemy Partners offered Countrywide shareholders the opportunity to sell to it 250p per share, coupled with a recapitalisation of the company.
Countrywide itself is clearly seeking to maximise its position by playing the two offers against each other; at some point it is expected its board will recommend one to its shareholders, who will then have a special general meeting to ratify the move.
In the meantime, Countrywide has now sent out a statement to shareholders saying: “The Board will evaluate the merits of the Connells Firm Offer in consultation with the Company's major shareholders, together with all other available options for the Company, including (but not limited to) the revised proposal from Alchemy announced by the Company on 2 December 2020 and a capital raise from existing shareholders of the Company. The Board urges shareholders to take no action at this time in relation to the Connells Firm Offer. A further announcement will be made as appropriate.”
You can see details of the latest Connells offer here…
…and the latest Alchemy offer here.