Countrywide to sell LSH

Fri, 29 Nov 2019 | BUSINESS SALE

Estate agency firm Countrywide has agreed a deal to sell its commercial property wing Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) for £38 million.

Countrywide, which has been looking to reduce its debt, will sell the consultancy to Monaco-based property developer John Bengt Moeller, founder of Great Global Holding, which acts as a holding company for numerous UK and international commercial property businesses.

The deal will reduce the company’s debt burden by £34 million, Countrywide says. Its net debt was at a reported level of £90 million in June. Countrywide also said the deal would significantly strengthen its capital structure and allow it to focus on its core residential services business.

LSH was acquired by Countrywide in 2013, it has over 40 locations across the UK and Ireland, employing around 1,700 staff. It manages 7,700 properties and advises on £16 billion of property per year.

Countrywide executive chairman Peter Long said: "The sale of the Lambert Smith Hampton commercial business strengthens the group. Once completed, we believe that the group will be in a more advantageous position in our core residential market. The group remains on course to deliver a full year result in line with the board's expectations."

The deal is subject to approval from shareholders and is expected to be completed on December 31.

Countrywide has also announced the agreement of an amended credit facility with its lenders, as it looks to gain the “financial flexibility” to continue its turnaround in a challenging market environment.

Countrywide was advised by a team from law firm DWF, lead by partner Lester Wilson with Amelia Mackie, Tim Howden, James Lonsdale, John Toon, Andrew Carr, Jim Speed, Nick Wallace and Helen Balliger.

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