Countrywide snaps up Lambert Smith Hampton

Mon, 30 Sep 2013 | BUSINESS SALE

The UK's biggest estate agency chain, Countrywide, has bought property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) for £34.1 million.

The deal has taken the form of a pre-pack administration after LSH struggled to pay down debts left over from a problematic management buy-out. The pre-pack wipes out these debts, although the current shareholders will still lose out as the purchase price is mostly to be used to pay off private equity group debts.

Although the consultancy firm has struggled in the years since the property market crash, Countrywide's decision to buy signals some faith in the market's ability to bounce back and offers hope to the investors in LSH.

Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide plc, commented: “The acquisition of LSH is an important part of Countrywide's continued growth strategy. It will enhance our footprint across the UK and will help to drive more opportunities to our teams operating our core Land and New Homes, and Residential Development & Investment businesses.”

Ezra Nahome, LSH chief executive, added that the acquisition heralds a “new, exciting chapter for LSH and being part of the Countrywide group will provide us both with significant opportunities”.

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