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Agencies & People

Countrywide break-up now a possibility, claims former chairman

Interview with Harry Hill reveals he blames the plummeting share price on the Platt years during which he says it concentrated too much on retail, not property.

Nigel Lewis


Former Countrywide chairman Harry Hill has said that he believes an aggressive break-up of the company could now “be a possibility”.

The comments came as he hit out at the Alison Platt years, suggesting that the company’s habit of replacing “seasoned professionals” with retail-background management was a mistake.

Harry (pictured, left) is also critical of the current non-exec chairman of Countrywide for his lack of property experience. This is Peter Long, who gained much of his track record in the travel industry and who has stepped in to run the company until a replacement is found for Platt.

“City reaction has been very muted and most people close to the company appear to think that recruiting a high calibre person will be difficult, and any recovery process will probably [also] be slow and difficult,” he told website Dealmakerz.

Although the Countrywide share price has bombed since the New Year falling from £1.35 a share in January to a low of £0.78p earlier this month, its share price has begun a mild recovery.

Crunch time?

Following early morning trading today it now stands at £0.90p a share. But crunch time for Countrywide is likely to arrive on the 27th April when the company reveals its latest trading update.

City investors will be looking for signs that Countrywide is beginning to turn the corner after its profits warning in mid-January that precipitated Platt’s departure, and hopefully the unveiling of a new CEO.

james dearsley“The natural next step would be to appoint a safe pair of hands for the CEO role, but they need to ensure they have a strong technology mandate and team around them that can help plan for the future and come up with a better strategy,” proptech consultant James Dearsley (pictured, right) told Dealmakerz.


February 27, 2018

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