Countrywide has reported major hold up of the sale of its commercial arm.
The £38m sale of its commercial division, was described as being “vital” to its long-term wellbeing.
On 29 November 2019, the company announced that it had agreed the sale of LSH to John Bengt Moeller with completion due, subject to shareholders’ approval, by 20 January 2020.
However, a statement released by Countrywide today (11 March 2020) read: “Following protracted efforts to effect completion and after agreeing a revised timetable to complete on more than one occasion, Mr Moeller has failed to complete the transaction in accordance with the final timetable set for completion by 12.00 on 11 March 2020.
“The company continues to engage with Mr Moeller and wishes to effect completion as soon as possible. However, given the significant delay caused by him, the company has notified Mr Moeller that it will now also explore alternative options for the sale of LSH, and is considering its legal options to pursue Mr Moeller for damages and costs from continuing delay in completion.”
Meanwhile, the company has reported it entered into discussions with another interested purchaser that actively expressed an interest in LSH during the delayed completion period.
Countrywide also posted a trading update for the period ended 31 December 2019.
Total group income for the year was £498m, compared with £515m in 2018, and the firm said it was a highly resilient performance in a challenging market and after absorbing the loss of tenant fees income of £12m.
The group also said it is seeing the benefits from its ‘Back to basics’ turnaround plan, with continuing operations having returned to growth in profitability.
Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be ahead of both the board’s expectations and ahead of the prior year.