Countrywide shareholders have overwhelmingly backed the offer by Connells to buy the company.
At a special virtual AGM today 99.58 per cent of Countrywide shareholders approved the deal - just 0.42 per cent opposed.
Under the terms of the acquisition, each Countrywide shareholder will be entitled to receive 395 pence in cash for each share.
All of Countrywide's lenders will be repaid in full and Connells will provide additional investment in Countrywide's technology, branch network and people, “stabilising and enhancing Countrywide's business for the benefit of its customers, employees and other stakeholders.”
As part of the new deal Connells says there are likely to be areas of duplication in what it calls “operational infrastructure” where savings can be made.
- duplicated costs across some head office and/or centralised administration functions, which could result in some headcount reductions and relocations;
- IT expertise and best practices across both Connells and Countrywide; and
- savings from “the removal of listing, administrative and other related operational expenses.”
Connells’ existing HQ is only nine miles away from Countrywide’s, so there are likely to be additional savings on premises.
Countrywide still formally requires the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority to the takeover; that should be completed by the end of March, at which time a request will be made by Connells to cancel trading in Countrywide shares on the London Stock Exchange and to de-list Countrywide.