Connells has officially completed on its acquisition of Countrywide, it has announced, three years after Countrywide’s board ejected its ‘retail focussed’ CEO Alison Platt following dire profit warnings.
This makes it the UK’s largest estate agency group and, the company says, provides long-term financial stability for Countrywide, freeing it from external debt, and ‘bringing years of uncertainty to a close’.
The completion of the deal also swells the total number of high street branches operated by Connells to 1,200.
For the time being, Connells says its former rival will continue to operate as a stand-alone business trading under the company’s existing brands albeit with new investment in technology and people to ‘improve its service offering’.
Connells also says Countrywide’s surveying and asset management businesses will continue to trade and operate as separate entities ‘to provide choice and competition in these sectors’.
The combined group will be lead by existing CEO David Livesey, who says the best talent from both companies will be hand-picked to help Countrywide turn itself around rapidly.
This will include former Countrywide boss Paul Creffield, who will work part-time in a support role prior to retiring.
“This is an extraordinary day in the proud history of both companies, bringing together a formidable team of property professionals to create the most successful business seen in our sector,” says Livesey (pictured).
“Our companies have a long, shared history, competing healthily on the high street and in the industry, and sharing many of the same attributes – a clear strategy to be market leader, to move the property industry forward and to keep our customers and clients at the heart of our activities.
“We look forward to welcoming all our new colleagues into Connells Group, working together on our exciting future and turning Countrywide around for our shared success.”