Apollo triumphs in £1.1bn Countrywide bid battle

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 competing offer from UK buyout firm 3i.

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

Apollo said in a statement that its offer of £5.30 a share 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 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. Two days before that 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.

That Apollo bid was approved by the board and shareholders but had yet to receive court approval, leading to 3i’s last ditch attempt to trump Apollo’s bid.

3i refused to comment.