Following the collapse of attempt by Countrywide to sell its commercial arm Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to John Bengt Moeller in January this year, court papers lodged by the estate agency reveal that it is now seeking at least £10 million in damages.
Business website Bisnow says Countrywide is seeking the difference between the £38 million agreed between it and Moeller last year and the estimated value of the company ‘at the time of any judgement in its failure’ which, it claims is likely to be in excess of £10 million.
The papers were filed as part of the company’s legal claim on 23rd September at the High Court, it is reported.
Danish entrepreneur Moeller, who is a Monaco-based businessman with a background in finance, construction and property, has yet to mount a defence, it is reported.
The collapse of the LSH deal in March, after several extensions of the payment deadline by Countrywide to accommodate Moeller, is considered to be one of the main triggers for its current woes.
If Countrywide had received the £38 million for LSH then a significant portion of the debt its current burdened by would have been paid, gaining breathing room for Peter Long and Paul Creffield’s ‘back to basics’ plan to work.
Instead, on 22nd October its management accepted a deal that would have seen a £165 million injection of new funds including £90 million from shareholder Alchemy to repay its £91.9 million debts and a fresh £75 million from its existing lenders.
As we reported last week, this deal has now been shelved after Connells made a bid to offer Countrywide shareholders £2.50 a share for the company.