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Agencies & People

LSL reveals hefty cost of its failed merger attempt with Countrywide

Estate agency giant LSL publishes the legal and other costs so far of its doomed attempt to merge with rival Countrywide this year.

Nigel Lewis

countrywide

LSL has revealed that it’s aborted attempt to merge with Countrywide last year cost the company £2.4 million in legal and other costs.

The figure, which wasn’t revealed in earlier information published on Tuesday morning, shows that the merger was more costly than its decisions to close over 160 Your Move and Reeds Rains branches last year.

That much-publicised restructure continued to incur expenses for LSL during the first six months of 2020 to the tune of £1.7 million which, along with the merger and other items including the restructuring of its surveying division, took its exception costs lists to £4.2 million.

LSL pulled out of a deal to merge with Countrywide in March, just a few days before the Covid housing market lockdown hit.

A month earlier it was confirmed by both sides that Countrywide and LSL were in talks to complete a £500 million merger of the two PLCs in a reported all-share deal.

But later LSL said in a terse statement to the City on March 16th that it did not intend to make an offer for Countrywide. This followed a month of speculation and leaks about the two companies’ plans to agree the merger.

Also, the failed merger was said to be one of the contributing factors in the decision by Countrywide’s COO-in-waiting and former Tesco executive Bruce Marsh not to take his role up at the company, five months after it was announced that he would be joining.

Read LSL’s half-year results in more detail.

August 6, 2020

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