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Countrywide board recommends Apollo takeover

The board of Countrywide has agreed the 1bn takeover proposition made by private equity firm Apollo Funds.

In an announcement on the London Stock Exchange, the estate agency confirmed that it has reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended offer by Castle BidCo, the company incorporated on behalf of Apollo for the purpose of making the offer.

Castle BidCo will be issued share capital of Countrywide of 510 pence in cash and 0.16487 Rightmove shares per Countrywide share.

The offer values each Countrywide share at 590 pence and the existing issued ordinary share capital of Countrywide at approximately 1,008m based on the closing price of a Rightmove share of 485.5 pence on March 2.

Christopher Sporborg, chairman of Countrywide, says: A number of key shareholders, including ones who voted against the previous offer from 3i, have indicated their support for Apollo’s offer for Countrywide.

Therefore, I believe it is appropriate for the Countrywide board to recommend Apollos offer for Countrywide as the Countrywide board believes that it is in the best interests of Countrywide shareholders for the offer to be made.”


Start promoting the benefits of HIPs

If brokers want to benefit from HIPs they should start familiarising themselves with the packs and sell their benefits to potential customers, says Allen Jackson

Wimpey to accept exchange bonds

George Wimpey is offering house buyers the opportunity to opt out of paying cash deposits by using an exchange bond designed by The Exchange Insurance Company.

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Absence management systems gone AWOL from UK’s SMEs, reports Jelf

A quarter (23 per cent)* of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have an absence management system in place, according to new research from Jelf Employee Benefits. Despite 69 per cent* of organisations having a system in place, three-quarters (75 per cent) report that it is not providing them with sufficiently empowering absence or health data to inform an effective wellbeing programme.


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