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Countryside rejects ‘undervalued’ £1.5 billion sale offer

·2-min read
House developer Countryside Partnerships is actively seeking offers for its business (Countryside/PA) ((Countryside/PA))
House developer Countryside Partnerships is actively seeking offers for its business (Countryside/PA) ((Countryside/PA))

UK housebuilder Countryside Partnerships has rejected a $1.9 billion (£1.5 billion) offer for the company from US investment business Inclusive Capital and put itself back on the open market.

In a statement, Countryside, said: “On 30 May 2022, the board of Countryside confirmed that it had received two unsolicited, non-binding, conditional proposals from Inclusive Capital in relation to a possible offer for the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of the company.

“Both proposals were rejected on the basis that they materially undervalued the company and the board’s view of its prospects. The board believes that, given Countryside’s differentiated market position and attractive business model, it is well positioned to create significant shareholder value over time.”

In January this year, Countryside CEO Iain McPherson made a sudden departure from the company, as it announced a first quarter trading update that the business said was “below expectations”.

The results for the quarter to the end of December said Countrywide sold just 809 homes, down 37% on the 1,280 during the same period the previous financial year, with completions down 35% in partnerships and 44% in traditional housebuilding.

The board of the company said it had received approaches from “meaningful number of shareholders” who had asked it to now “actively seek offers for the company”.

The London-listed company told its stakeholders that should no buyer emerge, then it would have significant potential as a “standalone entity”.

Last month, the Brentwood -based housebuilder said it had swung to a pre-tax loss of £181.5 million in the six months ended March 31, from a profit of £85.4 million the previous year.

Revenue also dropped, falling 8.9% to £602.2 million from £661.0 million.

Countryside announced in November last year that it had set aside £41 million to deal with potential cladding issues on its properties.

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