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Countrywide set to make fresh acquisitions

A new £100 million finance facility is expected to help support Countrywide’s strategy for growth.

PROPERTYdrum

logo_countrywideCountrywide has announced that it has reached an agreement to increase its financing facilities from £150 million to £250 million.

The FTSE-250-listed plan to use the additional finance for general corporate purposes, including the funding of potential acquisitions.

The £250 million revolving credit facility, which will mature on March 20, 2018, has been provided by its current banking syndicate, comprising Abbey National Treasury Services, AIB Group (UK), Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and National Westminster. Countrywide said that the added borrowing capacity was in line with a rise in the firm’s profitability.

Jim Clarke, the Chief Financial Officer at Countrywide, said, “We are pleased that our existing banking partners continue to support us, and we are able to continue our strategy for growth, both organically and through acquisitions, while maintaining conservative levels of financial leverage.”

nick-dunning-countrywideNick Dunning (left), Group Commercial Director at Countrywide, last month said it was an “exciting period” for Countrywide Residential Lettings, with the growth in the firm’s operation a major focus for the entire group. Since the start of last year, Countrywide has acquired 23 lettings businesses.

With plans for further acquisitions in the pipeline for this year, Countrywide Residential Lettings recently launched its third Graduate Management Programme, with a view to adding to its expanding team and cater specifically for growth in its lettings business.

The two-year programme is designed to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge required to build a successful career at the lettings agency. The first year focuses on developing candidates understanding of the business and the various roles within it, while the second year focuses more on management. Full training and development as well as coaching and mentoring will be given to graduates throughout the management programme.

countrywide_graduate_manage

Overall, 30 people have been recruited through its Graduate Management Programme over the course of three intakes. The first group finished the programme recently and have succeeded in very different career paths including a student Lettings Manager, Regional Trainer and Customer Care Coordinator, in addition to their typical branch roles.

Dunning said,“As a major employer with over 12,000 employees across the UK, we believe it is important to give young people the opportunity to learn and develop the skills they need to flourish in a business environment. We want to employ the best talent for our business and the Graduate Management Programme is a great way of sourcing and developing the right candidates to meet the needs of our growing business.”

February 20, 2015

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