Wednesday 2 December 2020 12:18 pm

Countrywide rejects £82m takeover bid by rival estate agent firm Connells

Estate agent chain Countrywide has rejected an £82m offer from rival firm Connells, and announced it has received an improved proposal from private equity investor Alchemy Partners.

The company said today that it had considered the 250p per share cash offer from Connells – a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society – but has unanimously rejected the bid. 

In response Connells said it will consider its options and urged Countrywide shareholders to take no action in relation to the updated Alchemy proposal.

Alchemy Partners has revised its equity raising proposal after Countrywide shareholders rejected an initial £90m lifeline plan, which last week prompted the resignation of executive chairman Peter Long.

The new proposal would give current shareholders the opportunity to sell their shares at 250p per share and a recapitalisation of the company of around £70m, underwritten by Alchemy.

Under the revised offer, shareholders can sell their shares to Alchemy Partners, retain their stake or invest further capital.

Countrywide said it would examine all potential options, including the Alchemy proposal and a capital raise from existing shareholders.

The latest proposals come after rival group LSL abandoned a potential £500m merger with Countrywide in March, terminating a deal that would have created the UK’s biggest estate agent, amid market uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.