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Countrywide says it agreed to be bought by Apollo in 1.1 billion pound deal

Countrywide says it agreed to be bought by Apollo in 1.1 billion pound deal

Countrywide PLC, Britain's largest real estate brokerage, said Tuesday it agreed to an improved offer from private equity firm Apollo Management LP that values the business at 1.1 billion pounds (US$2.2 billion; euro1.6 billion).
The company also said it had also received a further offer from an unidentified bidder. But the Polygon hedge fund, one of Countrywide's largest shareholders with about a 30 percent stake, said it would accept Apollo's offer.
Apollo's offer values the company at 530 pence (euro7.76; US$10.58) and 0.16 shares in Rightmove, a company in which Countrywide holds a stake, for every Countrywide share, the London-based company said in a statement. That represents a premium of about 15 percent to Countrywide's closing price on Feb. 2, the last day before a possible offer for the business was announced.
The private equity fund's initial offer, which valued Countrywide at about 590 pence (US$11.78; euro8.64) a share, was due to be approved by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting on April 13. But less than 48 hours before the meeting, Apollo was forced to raise the offer to around 617 pence (euro9.04; US$12.32) a share after Countrywide received a competing proposal from a third party.
The increased Apollo offer was approved by the board and shareholders and was due to receive court approval Tuesday before a third party once again came in at the last minute with a competing proposal _ leading Apollo to revise its offer.
Countrywide's shares rose 0.1 percent to 610.5 pence (US$12.19; euro8.94) on the London Stock Exchange. Rightmove shares gained 0.5 percent to 512.5 pence (US$10.23; euro7.51).
Countrywide's shareholders rejected a 960 million pound (US$1.9 billion; euro1.4 billion) bid by 3i Group PLC, Europe's biggest publicly traded buyout firm, in January after some investors said it was too low.
The acquisition of Countrywide will give New York-based Apollo around 1,200 agencies across Britain and the country's largest valuations and property surveying business at a time of fast-rising house prices.


Updated : 2021-04-20 21:51 GMT+08:00