Trio at top of Countrywide buy thousands of shares to demonstrate their commitment

The triumvirate at the top of troubled estate agency group Countrywide have each bought shares in the firm at market prices following last year’s disastrous results.

Executive chairman Peter Long has bought 200,000 shares at 79.8p each. He now holds  571,429 shares altogether.

Chief financial officer Himanshu Raja has bought 100,000 shares at 88p. He now has 344,841 shares, excluding outstanding options and/or awards held under the company’s share incentive scheme for its employees.

Paul Creffield, the group operations director, has bought 100,000 shares at 83p. He now holds 454,742 shares, excluding employee share incentives.

A statement to the London stock exchange said of the share acquisitions: “This underpins their belief in the business and further demonstrates their commitment to leading the recovery.”

The announcement of the purchases was made on Friday afternoon. But despite the directors’ show of confidence, the shares ended the day 5% down at around 83p.

Last year, Countrywide chalked up losses of over £200m.

Separately, rumours are swirling about the further pain – to which Countrywide alluded in its results – the company will undergo as it unravels the ‘retail’ policy of the Alison Platt regime and ‘gets back to basics’, with speculation of more redundancies and office closures.

Countrywide has already said that it is looking to make 150 out of its 450 jobs at its head office redundant. However, it has also hinted that it will happily re-hire agents who left under the previous regime and said it will restore power to branches as it reverts to a ‘back to basics’ approach and today Keith Knight re-joins, from Arun Estates, as managing director for sales and lettings in the south east. He left Countrywide after 14 years in 2016 when his job title was that of a ‘retail director’.

More former staff seem likely to re-join soon.

Meanwhile, the big questions seem to be whether Countrywide will sell any of its brands, and whether it will chop branches in areas where it has more than one brand.

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4 Comments

  1. Hillofwad71

    Well  its difficult to draw confidence from the BODS  decision to buy more shares .They have some serious poor form in that department

    Long and his BODS back in early 2016 decided that property wasn’t enough for them and that they decided to become stock market  heroes. Overseeing a plummeting share price they decided  that the company should  buy back in their own shares compounding the error.Starting In March they undertook no less than 60 seperate transactions spending monies borrowed from the banks at prices between 330p and 370p You couldn’t make it  up as the SP continued to fall precipitating millions of pounds of losses

    http://www.lse.co.uk/share-regulatory-news.asp?shareprice=CWD&ArticleCode=dpa7wuor&ArticleHeadline=Transaction_in_Own_Shares

    http://www.lse.co.uk/share-regulatory-news.asp?shareprice=CWD&ArticleCode=28b132d6&ArticleHeadline=Transaction_in_Own_Shares

     

     

    Not only that they had to go  back  the market last year and raise monies at 175p per share to plug the gap

    Hopeless,helpless and hapless

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  2. Philosopher2467

    It’s difficult to take any inspiration from the current Board, even if they are buying shares in addition to the freebies!

    The company has been decimated on their watch and a few ‘token’ returnees of varying ability is not going to be able to change things for the better to any meaningful degree and certainly not quickly enough. Appointing a recognisable industry figure is essential and if they must come from a background where the business they run is performing. At least they will have some ‘kudos’ and with it, the confidence sufficient to start ringing the changes. They may also be able to bring with them a team that can speedily instill belief that this is one ship that can re-emerge as the corporate entity it once was; the envy of all others!!

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  3. mrtickle

    Shows how mad the world is – dropping 83k on a show of character.

    The crazy amounts of money these guys have make me shudder, especially given that hundreds of people have lost their jobs due to bad management.

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  4. oldlettingsdirector10

    Interesting- I am told a number of top people are already returning. I expect they will get it fixed. Creffield and Knight know what they are doing. I do expect it will take them at least a couple of years.

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