Countrywide has been forced to release a statement this morning revealing that its sale of commercial property arm Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has hit the buffers.
The estate agency giant has revealed that the agreed sale of LSH which has already been approved by shareholders, will be delayed.
Countrywide’s company secretary Gareth Williams says its purchaser, Monaco-based entrepreneur John Bengt Moeller, is having difficulties raising the cash to make the purchase due to ‘logistical difficulties’ relating to the transfer of the cash.
The estate agency group says it has been reassured by Moeller that the money is ‘imminent’.
Shareholders approved the deal on 1st December, which revealed that Moeller is to pay £38 million for the 40-branch commercial property sales and management business, cash Countrywide desperately needs to reduce its debts and help secure a larger credit facility.
The deal also boosted confidence in the ailing estate agency giant. After the deal was announced its share price jumped by 14%, helped by comments from its chairman Peter Long that he wanted Countrywide to focus on its core residential business.
He said too much valuable management time had been spent on Lambert Smith Hampton within a challenging commercial market and that Countrywide had no ambitions to grow the consultancy. He also said that there was minimal crossover between Lambert Smith Hampton and its residential business.