Apollo triumphs in £1.1 billion Countrywide bid battle(2)

US buyout firm Apollo Management has secured UK property firm Countrywide with help from the hedge fund Polygon, after frantic eleventh hour negotiations which saw two consecutive revised bids from Apollo.

Apollo Management, the US buyout firm, is buying UK property firm Countrywide for £1.1 billion ($2.2 billion, €1.6 billion) after revising its offer to take into account a potential wrecking bid from UK buyout firm 3i.

The Daily Mail reported 3i made this offer of around £6.30 a share, or £1.07 billion, late on Monday night. Apollo’s bid was revised only a few hours before its original offer was due to receive court approval.

Apollo said in a statement that its offer was a £5.30 a share bid and includes 0.16 shares in Rightmove, a company in which countrywide has a stake, for every Countrywide share.

This also valued the company at £6.30 a share. The Polygon hedge fund, a 30 percent stakeholder in Countrywide accepted Apollo’s offer ensuring that 3i’s very similar bid lost out.

Apollo’s original offer valued Countrywide at around £5.90 a share which was due to be approved by shareholders on April 13. 48 hours before this meeting, Apollo had to raise its offer to around £6.17 a share after Countrywide received a competing offer from a third party also believed to be 3i.

This increased Apollo offer was approved by the board and shareholders but prior to court approval on Tuesday for this offer, leading to 3i’s last ditch attempt to trump Apollo’s bid causing the US firm to revise its offer again.

3i refused to comment.