Countrywide rejects £82m takeover approach from estate agency group Connells

Joanna Bourke
·1-min read
<p>Countrywide is behind a number of high street estate agency chains</p> (PA)

Countrywide is behind a number of high street estate agency chains


Troubled estate agency group Countrywide has rejected a £82 million takeover approach from rival Connells.

Countrywide, behind high street chains such as Bairstow Eves and Hamptons International, is under pressure to pay down debts ahead of potentially breaching covenants next year.

Its board has been looking at various plans to help the business, and the company today updated on where it is with latest developments.

Countrywide said a potential 250p-a-share deal from Connells was unanimously rejected by the board.

It added that private equity firm Alchemy Partners had submitted a revised proposal to inject £70 million into Countrywide.

Countrywide shareholders would be given the option to sell their shares at a price of 250p each.

Shareholders last month spurned proposals that would have involved raising £90 million in equity from Alchemy.

Countrywide’s executive chairman Peter Long left the business last month and former William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock has stepped into the role of acting chief executive.

The firm today said the board “remains committed to engaging with all major shareholders to examine all options”.

Shares in Countrywide improved 10%, or 23.4p, to 250p.

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