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The FTSE 250 (^FTMC) company said it had received a 250p per share offer on Monday, significantly above its closing share price on Friday of 145p but below its pre-COVID highs of 355p in January.
It said: “The approach is at an early stage and Connells Limited has indicated that any offer is conditional upon, amongst other things, completion of confirmatory due diligence and the recommendation of the board of Countrywide.”
The London-listed estate agent, which floated in 2013, added that “there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms of any such offer, should one be made”.
Connells has a deadline of 5pm on 7 December to either make a firm offer for its competitor or withdraw. The move would take Countrywide off the London stock market.
Countrywide said that its board will continue to “engage with its shareholders to examine all potential options to deliver a sustainable capital structure for the company and to maximise shareholder value”.
Countrywide shares climbed more than 48% on the back of the news.
The news comes after LSL Property Services, which owns Your Move, Reeds Rains and London brand Marsh & Parsons, scrapped plans for a £500m all-share merger with Countrywide in March is year amid market uncertainty due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The merger would have created an amalgamated company with 14,000 staff and 1,000 estate agency outlets.
At the time, LSL said in a statement that it “does not intend to make an offer for Countrywide”, just less than a month after the companies confirmed they were in talks about a deal.
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