Countrywide backers sell large stakes

Five months after floating on the stock exchange Countrywide’s shares have taken a nose dive as two backers sold off large numbers of shares in the company.

Buyout firms Oaktree and Apollo sold 35 million shares between them at a value of almost £200million, equivalent to about 16% of the business.

The shares were initially sold at 350p in March and hit a high of 613£½p in mid-July. Oaktree lowered its stake in Countrywide to 27.6% and Apollo took its holding down to 10.9%, by placing shares at a price of 570p apiece.

The transaction saw Countrywide’s shares closing 27 lower at 570p, the placing price.

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