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Countrywide IPO offer price sets £750m market cap

Countrywide has set the price of its initial public offering at 350p per share, valuing the company at £750m, with the flotation expected to generate gross proceeds of £200m.

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The estate agency group says it expects the flotation to go ahead on Wednesday when it will apply for the shares to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The offer comprises 57,142,858 new shares representing 26.7 per cent of the total shares in issue. None of the existing principal shareholders is selling shares as part of the flotation.

The IPO will mark the first time Countrywide has been publicly listed since 2007 when it was bought by private equity group Apollo for £1.1bn.

Countrywide chief executive Grenville Turner says: “I am delighted by the very positive response we received from investors over the past few weeks which is recognition of the opportunity Countrywide has as the UK’s largest integrated property services group. I would like to thank all those – colleagues, partners, clients and customers – whose professionalism, effort and commitment have brought us to where we are today.

“Countrywide will continue to focus on delivering results, developing innovative and differentiated products and capitalising on our unique proposition.”

US private equity group Oaktree Capital acquired its majority stake in Countrywide in 2009 and injected £110m of fresh capital into the business.

Oaktree begun discussions with Goldman Sachs and other banks about launching an initial public offering for the group in January.

Countrywide operates 931 estate agency branches through a variety of brands, including Hamptons International, John D Wood & Co., UK Sotheby’s International Realty, Mann Countrywide, Gascoigne-Pees, Bairstow Eves, Dixons, Bridgfords, Taylors and Slater Hogg & Howison.

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