One of Countrywide PLC’s larger investors has writtent to chairman Peter Long saying that, “there are risks the company in its present form may not survive the current challenges.”
Jeremy Hosking, the co founder of Marathon Asset Management, an investment portfolio service, holds a 7.8% stake in Countrywide. His personal fortune is estimated at around £375m.
The Sunday Times reported that Hosking wants Countrywide to gift to its staff 15% of the company’s shares so as to give them a stake in the future of the business and a direct participation in any performance improvements.
“We can see a huge upside if all goes well,” wrote Hosking.
The historic decline of Countrywide’s share price is all too familiar.
From a soaring height five years ago, after a disastrous foray into a ‘retail’ approach to agency the shares now languish at around 115p and there is little prospect of a major upturn in the foreseeable future.
Recently the company attempted to sell off Lambert Smith Hampton, its commercial arm, but the deal collapsed at the last minute.
Hosking clearly believes that unless the company takes radical steps to beef up its performance its long-term survival may be in doubt.