Estate agent Countrywide delays £38m Lambert Smith Hampton sale

The UK’s biggest estate agent chain has been forced to delay the sale of its commercial real estate division due to the founder of the buyers “being indisposed” in January.

Countrywide had revealed in November that a sale to Great Global Holdings for £38 million had been agreed, with shareholders voting it through in December.

On Friday, bosses said the deal was delayed because John Bengt Moeller – the founder of Great Global – was “indisposed” last month, adding there were “logistical difficulties relating to the transfer of the requisite completion monies”.

Countrywide added: “We have been re-assured by Mr Moeller that completion is imminent. The company continues to work with Mr Moeller to resolve this situation urgently and is taking all necessary steps to achieve completion as soon as possible.”

Further details on the reasons for the delay to the sale of Countrywide’s Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) were not provided.

Shareholders were disappointed, with shares dropping 11.8p, or 3.2%, at 352.2p by late morning on Friday.

Bosses at the firm had previously revealed the EU referendum result and stamp duty changes had dented confidence. It put LSH up for sale in 2016, having only bought it in 2013.