Countrywide sells LSH to US commercial property group

UK property consultancy Countrywide has sold its commercial arm, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), for £38 mln (€45 mln) to US entreprenuer John Bengt Moeller.

Bengt Moeller is the owner of Great Gobal Holdings, a private commercial real estate investment firm based in New York.

LSH has over 40 offices across the UK, and some 1,700 staff. It is one of Britain's oldest commercial property brokers, originally founded in 1773.

Countrywide said that the cash deal represented a fair value for LSH, representing a multiple of 6x LSH's adjusted EBITDA. The board added that the sale would significantly improve Countrywide's capital structure, and allow the group to materially reduce its net debt.

Peter Long, executive chairman of Countrywide, said: 'The sale of the Lambert Smith Hampton commercial business strengthens the group. Once completed, we believe that the group will be in a more advantageous position in our core residential market.'

LSH's transaction revenue fell by 20% in the first six months of the year.

Countrywide acquired LSH in 2013 for £34.1 mln in cash, comprising some 33 offices and 1,400 employees. It put the firm on the market in 2017, but reportedly pulled the proposed sale after failing to find a buyer.

 

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