Browning West Calls for Countryside Properties to 'Let Partnerships Prosper'

LONDON, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --A Browning West, LP ("Browning West"), the third largest shareholder in Countryside Properties PLC ("Countryside" or "the Company"), with a 9.4% stake and a long-term investment horizon, is calling for the Board of Directors to immediately take certain actions that it believes will enhance outcomes for all of Countryside's stakeholders, as well as ensure that the Company can continue to fulfil its important role in the community by addressing the UK's chronic housing shortage in a sustainable manner. This public call to action comes only after a months-long private dialogue between Browning West and Countryside revealed a reluctance on the part of management and the Board to address the Company's significant deficiencies or consider meaningful opportunities identified by Browning West to significantly enhance shareholder value.Countryside operates two divisions today, Partnerships and Housebuilding. Browning West believes that Partnerships is the Company's "crown jewel" and is calling for the Board to take the following steps to Let Partnerships Prosper:

Immediately Appoint Browning West's Usman Nabi to the Board: Mr. Nabi should be added to the Board to bring specific financial, M&A, and capital allocation expertise, as well as to co-lead the search for a new Chair of the Board.

Initiate a Search to Replace Countryside's Chair: The Board should immediately initiate a search for current Chairman David Howell's replacement, seeking candidates with the following key attributes: (i) experience as a CEO, (ii) a track record of value creation, and (iii) evidence of success in M&A and capital allocation.

Task the New Chair with a Mandate to "Let Partnerships Prosper":A  The new Chair will work with the reinvigorated Board to urgently address three key issues: (i) reassess the current operating plan to see if there is an opportunity to improve return on capital employed and margins in 2021 and 2022, (ii) initiate a process to thoughtfully execute the separation of Housebuilding to create a stand-alone Partnerships business, and (iii) construct a prudent capital allocation policy that significantly reduces the risk of any future equity offerings and maximises total long-term returns for all shareholders.

Browning West has requested that the Board establish a new committee, co-led by Mr. Nabi and one of the Company's current non-executive directors, to oversee the search process to identify Mr. Howell's replacement. Browning West believes that taking these steps will protect shareholders from downside risk, enhance long-term returns, sharpen management's focus, and ensure that Countryside can continue to fulfil its important role in the community by addressing the UK's chronic housing shortage in a sustainable manner. Browning West has today launched, a website which details its outlook on the Company and the requests it has made to the Board, provides links to various letters sent by Browning West to Countryside's Chairman and Board of Directors over the preceding months, as well as presents Browning West's value creation framework by way of a detailed investor presentation. This website will be updated with more information and additional content as the situation develops further.Investor Contact:
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