December 14, 2006

3i Group Plc acquires Countrywide Plc, the U.K.'s biggest real estate broker.

On December 12, it was announced that Willkie client 3i Group Plc, Europe's largest publicly traded buyout firm, agreed to acquire Countrywide Plc, the U.K.'s biggest real estate broker for about £941 million ($1.8 billion).   Willkie’s London office advised 3i on the U.S. securities aspects of the deal.  Based in Witham, Essex, Countrywide owns 1,177 branches and is led by Managing Director Harry Hill, who teamed up with 3i to make the bid.  3i's offer has the backing of Countrywide's independent directors, led by Chairman Christopher Sporborg.  A world leader in the area of private equity, each year 3i invests £1.5 billion supporting people who start, grow, change and buy businesses.  The transaction was handled by partner Gregory Astrachan and associate Jonathan Gatsik.