One of the UK’s well-known agents Countrywide is in talks with rival estate agency Connells over a potential takeover that would value the company at roughly £82m, following troubles the company has battled all year.
The firm today said it had received an initial offer of 250p per share from Connells, well above its closing price of 145p last week.
The Countrywide group’s revenues fell to £173.8m this year, compared to the £241.6m recorded in H1 2019. A range of cost-cutting measures and financial support from the government helped the group record a £14.9m profit, however Countrywide’s existing position was not helped by the collapse of its planned sale of consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton to a Danish businessman earlier this year. The company was left looking for a new buyer for its commercial property business after the investor who agreed to pay £38m failed to come up with the cash.
The pandemic has added to the pressures the company faces. Less than three weeks ago, the board agreed to take a £90 million investment from private equity firm Alchemy, which increased its stake to almost 68% of the business.
Countrywide has slowly seen its share price be whittled down on the back of mounting losses in recent years, and has built up serious debt.