Hambro bids pounds 12m for John D Wood

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The Independent Online
Hambro Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agency, yesterday made its second foray into the London property market in three months, agreeing an pounds 11.9m bid for John D Wood, the Mayfair-based estate agents.

If the takeover goes through, it will bring a windfall of pounds 4.7m to the joint chairmen, Ian Homersham and George Pope, who brought the business to the Unlisted Securities Market at 144p a share in 1987 and have committed the near-40 per cent stake they control to the bid.

Mr Homersham stands to net around pounds 3m. Wood's shares fell 0.5p to 145.5p yesterday, having risen 15p the day before.

However, the 145p-a-share cash offer does not represent much of an advance on the original listing price, even though shareholders will be entitled to retain a second interim dividend of 2.5p a share declared yesterday.

The announcement came alongside news of a bounce in pre-tax profits from pounds 729,000 to pounds 1.64m for Wood in the year to April. The company recorded a 29 per cent jump in turnover from its nine central London residential sales offices.