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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide: vital sale appears stalled despite “imminent” claim

Countrywide is remaining silent over the stalled sale of its commercial arm.

The troubled agency group’s share price dropped over 3.5 per cent yesterday, some 11 days after a trading statement said the sale of Lambert Smith Hampton - originally scheduled to be completed before the end of 2019 - was the subject of an unspecified delay.

At the end of 2019 Countrywide announced the cash sale of LSH for £38m to a Monaco-based Danish property entrepreneur, John Bengt Moeller.

At the time the firm said the cash would “significantly improve Countrywide's capital structure following receipt of gross cash proceeds of £38m and allow Countrywide Group to materially reduce its net debt.” 

The company insisted the sale go through rapidly, before December 31, even holding an unusual meeting of shareholders to approve the deal between Christmas and New Year.

Then came the news of the delay on February 7; however, in that statement Countrywide said it had been assured completion of the deal was “imminent.”

A more recent statement from a Countrywide spokesperson about the deal, made to Estate Agent Today on February 10, ended with the comment: “In terms of timing, I draw your attention to the section from the RNS [the February 7 statement]: ‘We have been re-assured by Mr Moeller that completion is imminent’.”

Yesterday morning, Estate Agent Today asked Countrywide for an update on the sale but the company has not responded.

Overall, Countrywide’s share price has dropped around 20 per cent since late January.

  • Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Influencer - Analyst - CEO Proptech-PR

    They need that cash quickly, Lambert Smith Hampton is being sold to pay the bank, who will then allow a £90M plus facility of funding to keep loss making Countrywide afloat. Great strategy.

    Without the cash, it can be seen that the financial interests may become extremely reluctant to continue to support the venture. Even if the deal goes ahead, given that Countrywide are unlikely to post huge profits in the near future. Is it not time to call time on the doomed Countrywide back to basics three-year plan?

    I wonder what plan B those in the c-suite at Countrywide have? Apart from drawing hundreds of thousands each year in salaries.

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