Oaktree Gets More Support for Takeover of UK Countrywide

Oaktree, a US-based alternative asset manager, has gained financial backing for its takeover of Countrywide, the UK’s largest residential estate agency.

The Financial Times said that Oaktree Capital and Apollo Management, which bought Countrywide in a £1.01bn leveraged buyout in May 2007 involving approximately £750m of debt, have gained backing for a proposed recapitalisation and debt for equity swap.

The transaction would provide a control position for Oaktree in return for reducing the debt burden by more than £600m.

The article said that the deal has the support of more than 75% of bondholders, up from 50% last week, although a small number of discontented bondholders are considering blocking the deal, which would otherwise be expected to complete in the second quarter of this year.