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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

First merger disclosure forms filed by Countrywide and LSL

Both Countrywide and LSL Property Services have submitted early online paperwork to The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, an independent body charged with ensuring fair treatment for shareholders.

Within minutes of each other yesterday, the two agency groups started filing online forms to fulfil stock market obligations for “public open position disclosure”.

The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers is an independent body which administers the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers - a binding set of rules applying to all companies that are listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

The panel describes LSL as the offeror - the party making the offer - and Countrywide is described as the offeree, the party to which the offer has been made.

This appears to add weight to the suggestion that LSL may be interested more in a takeover than a merger; LSL is smaller than Countrywide in terms of branches and staff but has substantially greater market value - about £360m - with Countrywide trailing with a market value of £110m.

News first broke at the weekend that Countrywide and LSL were in talks about a joint future. Since that time stock market online forms have been posted by shareholders in the two companies in line with the code, requiring them to disclose holdings.

As we reported yesterday, the deadline for a decision on the merger or takeover is 5pm on March 23.

  • Rollo Miles

    Having worked for both Marsh & Parsons and John D Wood ( countrywide) I am struggling to see how this merger would benefit their staff.
    From a london point of view Marsh and Parsons, John D Wood and Hamptons all operate in the same geo locations ! In fact Marsh & Parsons shops are mostly located very close if not next door to a Hamptons or John D Wood branches.
    So if they were all part of the same mother group how would this work?
    Would they share data on their valuations ?
    How would the end user / clients benefit?
    Or would the same happen as it did with Faron Sutaria which was shut down because it overlapped with other countrywide brands in 2018?

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    • 27 February 2020 08:55 AM

    This will ONLY lead to a mass branch closure exercise. The Your Move / Reeds Rains massacre is evidence of the lack of appetite/need for multiple branches in the same areas

    I feel for the staff in both companies...this will be a very nerve wracking time

     
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    Absolutely no benefit to staff at all is there? Branch closures galore surely. In my local town alone there is a Mann, Bairstow Eves, Ashton Burkenshaw, plus 2 Your Moves within a mile of each other... they won’t all stay open will they!?

  • Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist - Journalist and Influencer Proptech-PR

    As reported by myself yesterday in the Daily Telegraph - of course it is a hostile bid ...

    - TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER - headline & article 25/02/20
    By Vinjeru Mkandawire 25 February 2020

    Open to offers: One wounded dinosaur looking to share a home

    Countrywide merger exposes the growing pressure on traditional estate agents.

    Stanton says that Countrywide’s failure to embrace the so-called ‘proptech’ revolution has left it a “financially wounded dinosaur” and that any merger with LSL is really a hostile takeover, with LSL setting the terms.'

    The traditional high street model is battling against declining sales and the rise of online challengers
    'However, analyst Andrew Stanton warns: “Estate agencies of the future will be based on captured data and analytics which provide a clear narrative of what the customer likes and wants."

    He adds: “A personalised, tech-based service - with connection across digital platforms and smart phones - means there will be less need for hundreds of branches.”

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