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Latest Countrywide “shambles” sends share price tumbling

Latest Countrywide "shambles" sends share price tumbling

Countrywide’s share price fell by as much as 17 per cent at one point yesterday afternoon as investors assessed the latest pratfall by the company – the collapse of its bid to sell its commercial arm.

As we reported yesterday there was an announcement from Countrywide a few minutes before the Budget, prompting industry cynics to say that this was a classic example of attempting to bury bad news.

The announcement effectively admitted that its bid to sell Lambert Smith Hampton to Monaco-based John Bengt Moeller for £38m was dead in the water, with new buyers being sought.

The revelation was described on Twitter as a “shambles” by respected property commentator Peter Bill, the former editor of Estate Gazette.

In a brief trading update released at the same time Countrywide reported a £17m drop in revenues last year and revealed the tenant fees ban had cost it £12m.

Within a few minutes of the announcement the Countrywide share price plummeted from 265p to 220p; it recovered slightly during the afternoon to close at 232.4p, down well over nine per cent.