Countrywide seeks new buyer for LSH as sale is delayed

Thu, 12 Mar 2020 | BUSINESS SALE

Countrywide has announced that it is seeking a new buyer for commercial real estate consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), after a deal to sell it to property entrepreneur John Bengt Moeller failed to complete.

Countrywide and Mr Moeller had agreed a £38 million deal for LSH last November, with a completion date of January 20, 2020. At the time, Countrywide described the sale of LSH, which has over 40 offices across the UK, as “vital” to its long-term prospects.

However, a statement from the company has announced that: “Mr Moeller has failed to complete the transaction in accordance with the final timetable set for completion by 12.00 on 11 March 2020".

Countrywide goes on to say that, while it continues to engage with Moeller and still hopes to complete the deal, it will be considering alternative options for a sale of the business, including entering into discussions with a potential buyer who has actively expressed interest.

The company has also said that it is considering legal action to pursue damages and costs from Mr Moeller over the continued delay of the sale.

In its most recent accounts, made up to the year ending December 31, 2018, LSH held net assets of over £1.8 million and had share capital of close to £1.9 million.

In addition to its statement regarding the sale, Countrywide has issued a trading update for the group, registering total income for the year 2019 of £498 million, down from £515 million in 2018.

The update adds that there has been a positive swing in public sentiment this year, reflected in a strong start in agreed sales, ahead of expectations. However, it adds, the full impact of Covid-19 is yet to be seen. The group expects to report full year results later this month.

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