Countrywide buys Lambert Smith as Alchemy sells £70m of its shares

Marion Dakers
COUNTRYWIDE, the newly-listed estate agency, yesterday announced plans to buy property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) for just over £34m.

The sale, in a pre-pack administration, will wipe out LSH’s debts left over from a 2007 management buyout.

Countrywide has struck a deal with Sankaty, which owns LSH’s debt pile, and Grant Thonton acted as administrator.

Countrywide said the purchase will immediately add to the group’s earnings and help it expand its land and new homes division. Chief executive Ezra Nahome will remain in place, as will the LSH brand name.

The news came as private equity firm Alchemy was last night reported to have sold £70m worth of Countrywide’s shares. Alchemy has an estimated eight per cent stake in Countrywide.