Mortgages  

Countrywide in takeover talks with rival

Countrywide in takeover talks with rival

Mortgage broking giant Countrywide has confirmed it is in acquisition talks with a rival, weeks after the company revealed a £90m capital raise from a private equity investor. 

In an update to the market this morning (November 9) Countrywide, which claims to be the UK's largest property services group, said it had received an indicative approach from estate agency group Connells Limited. 

The possible offer from Connells is at a price of 250 pence per Countrywide share. 

Countrywide said: "The approach is at an early stage and Connells Limited has indicated that any offer is conditional upon, amongst other things, completion of confirmatory due diligence and the recommendation of the board of Countrywide.

"There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms of any such offer, should one be made."

It comes weeks after Countrywide revealed a proposed £90m capital raise from private equity backer Alchemy, which was already a shareholder in the mortgage broking giant. 

In October the company announced the deal would mean Alchemy taking a majority stake in the business and its current chairman Peter Long being replaced at the head of the board. 

In today's update Countrywide said its annual general meeting had been postponed as discussions continued with shareholders. 

In March takeover talks between Countrywide and fellow broking giant LSL Property Services were called off after the latter pulled out of the deal. 

The merger would have seen the creation of a £470m company and whilst no reasons for the LSL's withdrawal were made public it came as markets around the globe slumped amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com

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