Countrywide shares fell to under 6p yesterday, a new low, bringing the market capitalisation to just over £100m.
The valuation is less than the £120m market capitalisation some eight months ago when Countrywide went to shareholders for an emergency capital raise.
Yesterday’s valuation is also less than the money raised at that time – a total of £140m.
After costs and other allocations, the cash call last August raised £129m to keep Countrywide’s wheels turning, with most of the money – £115m – used to pay down part of Countrywide’s then £200m debt.
Yesterday the shares fell to around 5.9p, prompting speculation that Countrywide may now have little option but to sell off parts of its business.
It is closing some of its branches, according to readers who have contacted EYE and have told us that some staff are in consultation. The possible branch closures include the Frinton-on-sea branch in Essex.
However, Countrywide has already openly stated as part of its recovery plan that it expects to have an average of over 600 branches in the near future, which implies potential closures of about 200.
Purplebricks shares settled yesterday at about 107p, after two consecutive days of falls.