Following months of wrangling, intrigue and even mud-slinging the board of Countrywide has accepted Connells’ cash offer for the industry colossus.
Widely seen within the industry as the best option for Countrywide under the terms of the acquisition Countrywide shareholders will receive £3,95 pence a share, a huge premium on its early December price of £2.27.
Since news of the takeover has emerged, Countrywide’s share price has risen to £3.88. During the depths of the Covid lockdown, this has sunk to just 38p.
The vote on the acquisition was a close run thing – just 51.03% of Countrywide share holders voted through the Connells deal, which is expected to officially complete by March 2021.
As part of the deal, Connells will clear all of Countrywide’ debts and as previously announced, invest heavily in its technology, branch network and people, stabilising and enhancing Countrywide’s business for the benefit of its customers, employees and other stakeholders.
David Livesey (left), Connells Group Chief Executive, says: We believe that the Acquisition is a great deal for all stakeholders.
“Our primary motivation for the acquisition is to invest in and grow the Countrywide business. We believe that we have the right management team, strategy and investment firepower to work with the talented teams at Countrywide and lead Countrywide into a bright future.”
David Watson (left), Acting Non-Executive Chairman of Countrywide, says: “This significantly improved offer from Connells allows Countrywide Shareholders to realise their investment in cash at a price that fairly values the opportunities and risks of the business.
“We are pleased to recommend this offer, which is supported by our major shareholders, and puts the Company on a stronger footing, securing the future of the business, its customers and its employees.”
Anthony Codling, Twindig: “We believe this is the best result for Countrywide because Connell’s has a tried, tested and successful management team.
“Connells will focus on an operational turnaround which will be in the best interests of both employees and the business whereas a Private Equity buyer would have focused on a financial turnaround, seeking to maximise financial returns at the point of an exit rather than being committed to the business for the longer term.”