Connells cleared to buy Countrywide by FCA, but will competition watchdog jump in?

first_imgConnells has revealed that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given its blessing to the company’s acquisition of Countrywide, leaving just one last hurdle for the deal to clear – a potential investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).Although Connells and Countrywide are both established companies, Countrywide is a regulated ‘appointed representative’ of financial products, and therefore the FCA is required by law to assess whether Connells is suitable to be a controller of an ‘authorised firm’.“Connells has confirmed that the condition relating to such approval has now been satisfied,” a joint statement from both companies says.Based on this FCA approval, all that now remains legally is for a court hearing to take place to formally approve the acquisition, which will take place on 4th March and take effect on 8th March.CompetitionBut one potential threat to the deal would be if the CMA decided to launch an investigation on the basis that it was anti-competitive and put the two combined companies in a too dominant a market position.And based on Rightmove listings data, the combined company will have a market share of property sales totalling just shy of 10%, making it far and above the largest estate agency in the UK, followed by Purplebricks and Hunters.An investigation would be within the CMA’s remit. Its own rules stipulate that it can look at mergers including acquisitions and joint ventures where two or more firms ‘cease to be distinct’.Also, the turnover of the acquired firm (i.e. Countrywide) must exceed £70 million, or ‘the two companies supply at least 25% of the services supplied to the market and the merger increases that share of supply’.The Negotiator approached the CMA but said it could not comment.Purplebricks Hunters connells Countrywide February 26, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Connells cleared to buy Countrywide by FCA, but will competition watchdog jump in? previous nextAgencies & PeopleConnells cleared to buy Countrywide by FCA, but will competition watchdog jump in?FCA has cleared Connells to be the controller of FCA-regulated Countrywide, a deal which is expected to now formally take place on 8th March.Nigel Lewis26th February 20210679 Viewslast_img read more