Countrywide reveals plans to float, 2012 results and new appointments

Countrywide reveals plans to float, 2012 results and new appointments

The UK’s largest estate agents and property services group Countrywide has announced its intention to float on the stock exchange.

The public will have the opportunity to buy ordinary shares in a newly-established English-incorporated company, the holding company of the Countrywide Group.

The intention is that the new company will apply for admission of its shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List, and begin trading at part of the FTSE250 on the London Stock Exchange.

The shares will be used to raise gross primary proceeds of approximately £200 million.

Net primary proceeds will be used to repay outstanding borrowings under the Group’s existing financing arrangements.

This repayment of debt will help Countrywide achieve a more efficient capital structure, enabling the Group to pursue growth opportunities.

Grenville Turner, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Over the past six years we have transformed Countrywide into the UK’s largest integrated property services group.

“We have worked hard to secure significant growth opportunities via acquisitions and by opening new high street branches. We have built market leading positions in each of our core businesses.

“This is an exciting time for Countrywide as we continue to develop innovative and differentiated products and services for our customers and corporate clients.

“I am delighted that we are able to make this step today, as it will help us continue our growth strategy with further investment in both distribution and quality of service.”

The group announced its 2012 results yesterday with revenue and other income up 6% to £539.8m from £509.1m in 2011.

A strong balance sheet was also on display with cash at £47m and a £25m revolving credit facility available.

Yesterday the group announced the appointments of Bob Davies as Non-Executive Chairman of the Group and Neville Richardson as proposed Senior Independent Non-Executive Director (Chair of Audit Committee).

Bob Davies, Non-Executive Chairman of Countrywide, said: “Countrywide has been transformed from a collective network of estate agencies into a cohesive property services group under the leadership of an experienced management team.

“I am excited to be joining this focused team, with its strong track record of delivery, as the Group embarks on the next stage of its growth and development.

“The business is already well positioned and I look forward to bringing my experience to bear as we seek to drive our competitive edge and further improve our market position.”

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