Countrywide’s share price has quadrupled in six months

Countrywide’s share price increased by just over 6% yesterday after Connells confirmed an £82m takeover bid for the estate agency group.

Countrywide’s share price closed at 230p, up 6.1%, as it continued on an upward trajectory.

Exactly one month ago, Countrywide’s share price stood at 155p, having dropped 15.9% in the space of an hour, after announcing that it needs to restructure its existing debt in order to reduce its debt burden and exposure to creditors.

But this still offered a marked improvement on the 54.5p recorded earlier this year – on 28 May – following a multi-month decline, driven primarily by the coronavirus pandemic and the collapsed sale of Countrywide’s commercial arm, Lambert Smith Hampton.

The latest boost in Countrywide’s share price was fuelled by Connells’ announcement yesterday morning that it had completed its due diligence work on Countrywide and reconfirmed its offer price of 250p per share in cash.

Connells also claimed that a cash injection of £90m by private equity rival Alchemy Group would not go far enough to rescue the struggling firm.

Countrywide revealed last month that it would raise £90m via a private share placement of 10.3 million shares to Alchemy, a private equity fund and shareholder, while also seeking a new £75m loan from its existing lenders to be repaid over four years.

But Countrywide this morning said that discussions with the company’s shareholders have indicated insufficient support for the Alchemy Transaction in its existing form, although it acknowledges the need for new capital and a readiness among shareholders to invest in the company.

Connells added that Countrywide faces a number of significant risks as a standalone business, with ‘potential to enter administration without a significant capital injection’.

Connells insist that its proposal would offer a ‘significant and tangible upside’ to Countrywide shareholders through a cash premium today, which is ‘far more attractive than the theoretical, distant and risky prospect of potential future benefits under a standalone strategy’.

David Livesey, the Connells Group chief executive, said: “Countrywide shareholders have repeatedly been promised jam tomorrow and it has never been delivered. There is no quick and easy fix for Countrywide. Turning the business around, especially in unpredictable market conditions, will be a difficult, expensive and lengthy process.

“Countrywide needs new ownership, not yet another speculative scheme that is based on hope rather than experience. Our proposal gives Countrywide shareholders significant immediate upside in cash, at a 72% premium to the undisturbed price, with none of the downside risks of remaining independent.”

Countrywide’s share price may have increased yesterday, but its recovery still has some way to go to match the heights reached earlier this year.

In late January Countrywide’s share price was 393p.

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7 Comments

  1. Hillofwad71

    The story is far from over here  and outcome uncertain so shareholders can  expect some further volatility  in the share price.Hoskings now own 20% and unlikely to support the Connells bid.

    Not forgetting  Paterson  too with 10% +.

    The new chairman finds himself in a strange position floated in with the toxic bid by Alchemy, .

     

    Meanwhile back at the coalface the brands doing what they do best.  November  looking to be another  good month despite their lords and masters in a state of flux.

    The irony is not lost that Hamptons unveiled their new logo yesterday. Maybe shortly to be followed by another one!

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  2. haveathink

    This story is completely inaccurate and should be altered or removed.    I’m a shareholder and 3 months ago they effectively issued something like 1 share for every 500 you own as it has become such a basket case.

    In city terms it’s known as saving face and improves the look of the price of individual shares (not the value).

    My overall value us still something like 90% down of what it was 2 years ago.

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    1. Hillofwad71

      What Marc says is correct since the end of May the sp has increased fourfold.The share  consolidation to which you  refer happened in January not 3 months ago

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  3. haveathink

    I stand corrected – given checking them  a complete wide berth since last year –  had a letter re the consolidation – as per this year all a bit of a haze.

    Didn’t realise the value dropped as low as £20m think of what all the money gone into the the Yopa”s of this world and what that would have done to Countrywide a crazy world we inhabit.

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  4. Mrlondon52

    it is not, Marc is right.

    The point being, if you bought CW shares at any time before say Jan or Feb this year you’re probably (still) very unhappy.

    If you bought shares in March 2020 when the total market value hit £20m (yes, it got that bad – in fact it might have even been £15m at one point) then you’ll be delighted.

    Whichever way you look at it, £82m for the whole company is daylight robbery.

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  5. Hillofwad71

    I agree. Long & Creffield now going.  Ex William Hill man Bowcock now interim CEO .Must be worth a punt! 

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  6. majortom1

    Mr London is correct. Majority of shareholders I’m sure would rather seek a way forward with Countrywide under new leadership as Countrywide than sell out at this pittance. The upside could be huge. .Its the staff I feel sorry here-must be a very uncertain time for them at a time when they have just come through Lockdown 1 and probably see their pipelines swelling. Surely there is enough within the larger shareholders pockets to deal with servicing the debt at a better deal that the first Alchemy punt.

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