Countrywide is in talks with rival estate agency Connells over a potential takeover that would value the company at roughly £82m.
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.
Countrywide said the offer was at an early stage and was conditional on due diligence and board approval.
“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 added.
The company gave Connells a deadline of 5pm on 7 December to either make a firm offer or withdraw.
Countrywide has seen its share price plunge in recent months after it warned of an urgent need to bolster its balance sheet and reduce debt.
While Connells’ offer is well above the company’s latest share price, it remains below highs of 355p before the outbreak of coronavirus.
“Connells believes that Countrywide needs a new management team, with real estate agency expertise, and a new strategy to turnaround the business,” Connells said in a statment this morning.
“Connells also believes that significant and sustained investment is required in Countrywide’s technology, network and people to put the business back on a solid footing in a challenging market.”
The suitor warned this investment would reduce Countrywide’s profitability and cash flow in the short and medium term.
Countrywide had previously been in talks over a £500m merger with LSL Property Services, which owns Your Move and Marsh & Parsons.
But the suitor pulled out of the deal in March amid market uncertainty due to the pandemic.
Countrywide today also postponed a general meeting to vote on a proposed £90m lifeline from private equity firm Alchemy.