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Countryside Faces Activist Demand for Breakup, Sky Reports

Colin Keatinge
·1 min read

(Bloomberg) --

Countryside Properties Plc is facing demands from activist investor Browning West to break itself up and provide the U.S. hedge fund with a board seat, Sky News reported.

Browning West, which has acquired an 8% stake in Countryside, has told the U.K. developer to sell its homebuilding unit, Sky reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. The Los Angeles-based hedge fund made its demand some weeks ago and further dialog is expected before the end of 2020, the news service said.

“Browning West has raised matters which the board and management have previously considered, and we will continue to engage with Browning West and our other investors in that context,” a Countryside spokesperson said by email on Monday.

A London-based spokesperson for Browning West declined to comment.

Countryside builds homes for private sale as well as operating a partnerships business that develops mainly low-cost housing for public bodies and affordable housing providers.

Shares in Countryside rose as much as 4.4% in London trading on Monday morning. It has a market value of about 2.2 billion pounds ($2.9 billion).

(Updates with company comments starting in third paragraph)

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