Countrywide’s main shareholders have voted to approve its emergency cash call at a General Meeting held in London.
Over 98% of shareholders voted to approve the Capital Refinancing Resolution, which will raise £140 million from the company’s existing investors and help to reduce its debts.
It’s been a rocky road to this point for the company since the share offer was announced on 2nd August.
The plan originally contained details of an improved ‘golden handcuffs’ for the company’s senior directors and business heads, but after pressure from City investors this was dropped.
Countrywide also struggled to persuade investors to buy up the first tranche of new shares designed to raise £111.4m. These were offered exclusively to certain investors and those not taken up were added to a £28 million secondary offering.
The company was able to get the share offering approved by investors largely because there were only two voting – Oaktree Capital Management and Brandes Investment Management.
These two City firms own the vast majority of the company’s eligible voting stock.The new shares created by the vote will now enter the London Stock Exchange on 30th August.
But the vote, although momentous for the company as it battles for survival, failed to impress the City. Countrywide’s share price has dropped from its opening price of 15p to a lunchtime level of 13.7p, a 7.5% drop.
The new cash is designed to give the wider Countrywide Group “greater long-term certainty, flexibility and balance sheet strength, and will allow management to fully focus on the three-year turnaround plan and return to growth strategy”, it says.