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Disaster for Countrywide as LSL pulls out of takeover talks

In a very brief announcement to the City and to its shareholders this morning, LSL Property Services made clear that it was pulling out of takeover talks with Countrywide.

The statement reads: “On 24 February LSL Property Services plc ("LSL") and Countrywide each confirmed they were in discussions regarding a possible all share combination. LSL today confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Countrywide.”

Several weeks ago the firms confirmed speculation that merger talks were underway, although it rapidly became clear that this was in reality a possible LSL takeover of the ailing Countrywide.


On February 24 Countrywide announced: “The Board of Countrywide plc notes the recent press speculation regarding Countrywide plc … Countrywide confirms that it is in discussions with LSL Property Services plc regarding a possible all-share combination. Discussions between Countrywide and LSL are ongoing. At this stage, there can be no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made for Countrywide. A further announcement will be made when appropriate.”

And in a parallel statement on the same day from LSL to its shareholders, that company said: "In view of the recent press speculation regarding Countrywide plc and the announcement by Countrywide, the board of LSL Property Services plc confirms that it is in discussions with Countrywide regarding a possible all-share combination. Discussions between Countrywide and LSL are ongoing. At this stage, there can be no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made for Countrywide. LSL reserves the right to introduce other forms of consideration and/or vary the mix or composition of consideration of any offer. Further announcements will be made in due course as appropriate.”

The two firms had until March 24 - next week - to confirm their intentions.

Poll: Will Countrywide now go bust?


  • icon

    No sale of Lambert SH, shares tanked, no buyer, all the debt , corona virus! Oh dear,

  • icon

    All brought about by the previous CEO's idiotic approach to agency and compounded by the useless BoDs who carried on after her departure arrogantly thinking that despite the fact they allowed the idiocy to carry while on their watch, they have the nous and skill to repair the damage, whilst also trying to award them selves a VERY healthy bonus scheme (£23 million or in that region, as I recall).

    I feel very much for the boys and girls on the front line, whose hands have effectively been tied by CWD's "one size fits all" and micro managing approach.

    Whilst it is obvious that the current health emergency is causing a huge hit, the sorry saga of Countrywide does seem to confirm, yet again, that despite so many people outside agency thinking that they know better and can do agency much better than those working in the industry, the business is harder than they think and it is folly to try and run a large organisation like Countrywide without some "proper" agents on the Board.

    Shame on Peter Long and the rest of the current BoDs for their blinkered views.


    Most agencies are still living in the 90's and are so backward and rule with the same old "do as I say" attitude and still get away with paying minimum wage for a hard slog.
    Cuntrywide have a earned their sinking.

  • icon
    • E C
    • 16 March 2020 13:49 PM

    They're now dead. They would probably have been before the current economic crash - but no hope now.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Countrywide's demise: be certain that is where we are, has come about in a predictable manner, and can be pinned on one factor mismanagement from the top.

    For well over 18 months I have been screaming that someone needed to take the helm and steer this huge vessel away from the rocks. Reaction from the c-suite, carry on as though everything is normal.

    Well the three year plan for sure is well under way, it is a shame that it was just like its author, misguided, out of step and lacking any merit.

    Maybe this week will see some long overdue resignations, then again that would take introspection, and ownership of the abject failure that is now Countrywide, the financially wounded Dinosaur that failed to listen, or adopt the Proptech Revolution.

    Great management coupled with technology digitally transforming processes, creating lasting efficiencies, with 10,000 people in the business, Countrywide should have been a model of modern real estate industry, instead it will stand as a lasting blueprint of how not to do agency.

    A warning for any other Dinosaur businesses, 'modernise, clients are transacting their lives through a digital prism'.

  • Dharmesh Mistry

    Sounds like the classic "innovators dilemma" rife in many previously profitable businesses.

    Digital affords startups to compete with incumbents on the basis that being small is an advantage, David has the upper hand advantage on Goliath. A low cost base, the freedom to reinvent and the ability to leverage new technology are just 3 of the many reasons legacy businesses should lay awake at night.

    It's not just the people at the top, but everyone's duty to take the business forward and compete with the new threats or simply be ahead of taking advantage of new tech.

  • icon

    Well said,what a backward organization and a totally non modern way of thinking.
    Pay people fark all and hope that they care when the sh#t hits the fan.


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