Countrywide drops £90mln Alchemy proposal, appoints ex-Wm Hill boss as interim CEO

Countrywide said there was insufficient support for the Alchemy proposal

Countrywide -

Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) has abandoned plans for a refinancing that included a cash injection of £90mln from private equity group Alchemy Partners.

Rival estate agency Connells made an indicative takeover approach worth 250p per share in cash subsequent to that deal and in a statement today Countrywide said there was insufficient support for the Alchemy proposal.

The estate agency added that it is still talking to the private equity group about other options including an amendment to the terms of financing while also considering raising new equity from other shareholders or a deal with Connells.

Countrywide also said that Peter Long, its executive chairman, is also stepping down and will be replaced by Philip Bowcock as interim chief executive. He was CEO at bookmaker William Hill until September 2019.

"Bowcock will lead the discussions with major shareholders towards stabilising the company's capital structure, and discussions with Alchemy Partners and Connells in relation to their proposals," said Countrywide in a statement.

Long commented: "This business has many underlying strengths and a terrific group of people.  It was always my intention to step back when we found the right figure to take Countrywide forward, and Philip is that person. The business is in good hands."

The company said it will look for a new independent chair to succeed Long. Paul Creffield, Countrywide’s Group Managing Director, also intends to retire as of today the firm added


Quick facts: Countrywide

Price: 393 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £129.01 m

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