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Countrywide concludes bail-out review

The holding company of Countrywide has completed a scheme of arrangement review to restructure the estate agents’ balance sheet.

The scheme will provide the firm with £75m of fresh capital in a bid to tackle its debt, which currently stands at £175m.

The scheme was approved by a Noteholder Group comprising both Senior Secure Notes and Senior Notes, it includes the repayment in full of the company’s revolving credit facility and related hedging liabilities.

The scheme is to be filed in March and completed in the second quarter.

Countrywide has recently had to take on three more private equity backers after falling into £740m of debt following its acquisition by buyout specialists Apollo.
Alchemy Partners, Oaktree Capital and hedge fund Polygon all took stakes ahead of the announced restructuring last week.

It is understood that the three firms are putting up the £75m in tandem with Apollo.


L&G urges Pada to set up default annuity

Legal & General is calling for the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority to offer a default annuity for investors or risk having hundreds of millions of pounds of unclaimed benefits build up.

Thames flows back into UK equities

Thames River Capital has narrowed its underweight exposure to UK equities, predicting that foreign investors may look to snap up UK-domiciled global businesses at bargain prices.

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Survey looks at the challenges facing businesses post auto-enrolment

A survey conducted by Johnson Fleming at the Pension & Benefits Show 2014 highlighted the key challenges faced within organisations post auto-enrolment. The results showed that communicating the changes and the value of them to staff, and receiving timely data from the payroll provider proved to still be the most challenging aspects of managing an auto-enrolment scheme.


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