One in four Countrywide votes go against re-election of director

A quarter of votes recorded at Tuesday’s Countrywide AGM were opposed to director Caleb Kramer being re-elected.

Kramer, who represents Countrywide’s biggest shareholder Oaktree Capital, had come under fire after not attending four out of 14 board meetings.

He said that three had been called at short notice, and he had been unable to attend. He had missed only one of the scheduled board meetings last year.

The voting figures released yesterday showed 371,586,633 votes against his re-election, plus 9,264,568 abstentions, out of a total of 1,455,932,161 votes. Withheld votes do not count, but the votes against represented 25.7% of the total.

It was easily the most controversial voting at the AGM, with most resolutions easily adopted, and Countrywide afterwards noted: “In accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, the company will consult with shareholders to understand the reasons behind the result on that resolution and will in due course provide an update on the views received from shareholders.”

Yesterday, shares in Countrywide finished at yet another new low of 6.39p, bringing the market capitalisation down to some £106m. The share price has fallen almost 13% in the last week.


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  1. Hillofwad71

    What  is surprising is that Long as Chairman is still garnering shareholder support. Although the SP was already in freefall on his arrival  in Feb 2016 he has overseen it diminish further from  350p to 6.5p Failed to apply the brakes early enough on the runaway train and slow to react to ending Platt’ s tenure . Careered from one disaster to another .Introduced no fresh faces to the BODS
    With EBITDA likely to be under £25m for the year they are rsailing dangerously close to breaking loan covenants only 12months after going cap in hand to the  market.
    Where is Jeff  Doble when you need him?
    You have to hand your hat to the Financial Director  Himansha Raja who arrived on the scene June 2017 to open up the lid on Pandora’s Box ,Showed willing and immediately got stuck in buying 122,841 shares @162p -a grand total of £199.902.Continued to take one for the team and bought a further 89.408 in September @135p.
    Added more on the continuing journey south culminating in participating in the capital raise last summer with 1,065.6333@10p-£106.563 His current shareholding of 1.388.474 worth just £98k !!! Nursing quite a substantial loss
    Shareholders can only hope he is better at crunching numbers than buying shares  

    1. J1

      Are you their disgruntled FD?

      In short, a shambles which is just getting worse.

      High overheads are killing larger agents.

      1. Hillofwad71

        What is” killing ” CWD is  legacy debt  issues rather than high operational costs. Incurred hundreds of millions of debt buying disappearing turnover expensively  with borrowed monies Despite dilution in a capital a rise still carrying a very high debt burden 
        Fee earners beavering away in a difficult  market not just to keep the lights on  but paying the banks back    

  2. Sdaltaf101

    Its the Banks who are manipulating the problem, they lend free money to the business so they can buy shares in the same business, this is an attempt to manipulate the market whilst the banks maintain a larger share of the asset which the business is paying for plus interest. The Banks will receive their monthly fees and gradually create more fees due the poor performance whilst  sucking the blood from the business with ever increasing charges forcing them to sell off the viable assets to maintain their payments until there is nothing left but the dross and then the business fails, but the Banks get paid.

    1. Hillofwad71

      Well in CWD’s case the money borrowed wasn’;t free It came at a cost with debt covenants  The banks were unwilling to swap debt for equity when they were  heading for  breach due to CWD’s poor performance
      Pressure applied to get some of their  money back.Who can blame them?  .
      The banks were suckered in by the story that CWD sold them that  by buying up all  these businesss the BODS could sprinkle some fairy dust and add synergy.
      Precisely the opposite happened. Don’t blame the banks blame the BODS

      1. Sdaltaf101

        I’m certainly not defending the level of incompetence shown by the board of CWD, at the moment they are locking the stable door while the horse is disappearing over the hill. There needs to be radical action but that’s unlikely in the short, medium or long term. The money the Banks loaned to the business is free, the money borrowed is not free that needs to be paid plus interest every month along with ever increasing fees so the business will inevitably resort to selling off quality assets to compensate for the decline in market share until there is only the dross. The board is inept and the Banks are sitting at the table feeding off their naivety and ignorance and this will continue until it fails, then the Banks will be replaced by the Administrator who will divide the carcass and sell off the bones, possibly to Purple Bricks or Yopa when they enter the high street with their online concept. Meanwhile those shareholders who continue to support the business will receive an apology for the failure and the excuse will be attributed to Brexit.

  3. Hillofwad71

    The money the banks loaned is not free The banks borrow the money themselves in the wholesale cost they have  operating costs and their own shareholders to satisfy

    You cant blame the banks for  CWD spending their  money unwisely They have continued to be helpful;  given them suffcient funds to operate and  put into effect a turnaround strategy What more do you expect the banks to just write offt he loans?

    1. Sdaltaf101

      Quantitative easing is the printing of free money which is why interest rates are unable to increase and currently there is an argument by the Banks to pursue negative interest rates. The Banks are technically insolvent and have been since 2008.The roll of the Bank is to provide financial stability and accountable to the Government, Gordon Brown gave the Bank of England intipendance which turned the Banking ethos from ensuring financial stability to a businesses model focused on profit. The collapse will start with Deutsche Bank, but time will tell.

  4. Woodentop

    On another note Purple Bricks have had another investment bank UBS downgrade them saying they need to raise £100m from investors, share price will drop to £1, the US market will lose £53m over the next year and continue to lose money for the next 6 years!!!! “losses in the US are expected to worsen”.    
    UBS is also concerned that parts of both Australia’s (still losing money and will do for the next three years) the UK’s housing market are experiencing tough conditions at the moment, claiming that Purplebricks’ operation has lost momentum and that its market share grab has slowed, as if we didn’t already know.  
    PB have made a loss every year since 2012 in the UK, wake up call time for investors, there is a distinct pattern of failure.

    1. Woodentop

      Hello someone doesn’t like the truth.

  5. Sdaltaf101

    Australia’s housing bubble has burst and the US is and will always be extraordinary difficult to penetrate, particularity if you are considered as a None American……and their US business model continues to change so they don’t offer anything different to their online competitors so they will pull the plug and focus on the UK establishing high street presence.


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