Countrywide IPO

In March this year, we advised Countrywide on its FTSE 250 listing. We’ve been working with Countrywide since 2007, initially as its auditor and then across a number of disciplines. Teams from Transaction Services, Tax, Capital Markets and Structuring and Human Resource Services have all played a role in getting to know the client and building a strong relationship, so when we were told the IPO needed to complete in just ten weeks, we were ready to go.

The very tight timetable run at the same time as the annual audit could have been a recipe for disaster, but the combined expertise and sheer determination of the team made sure Countrywide got to where it needed to be. It was a great example of “one firm” working – where the different teams operated collaboratively to minimise the impact on the client, and made sure the right people gave the right advice at the right time.

When the deal went through, the shares traded at the top end of expectations and the team’s collective delight was encapsulated by Countrywide’s Group CFO, Jim Clarke, who said: “The IPO was enormously successful for all involved. PwC delivered to a very challenging timetable using a team we’d developed strong relationships with over the previous months and years. You were a key pillar in the success of the transaction.”

The IPO was a transformational moment for the FTSE, signalling a return to confidence in the UK property market from domestic and inbound investors after six years of decline. Few firms, if any, have the breadth of experience and depth of resource needed on a transaction of this type. We look forward to the next chapter of the Countrywide story.