Friday, April 13, 2007
Former Chief of CountryWide: “It will all end in tears”
The outgoing chairman of Countrywide took a surprise parting shot at private equity after shareholders at his estate agency group approved a £1.05bn bid from US buyout firm Apollo Management.
He added: "If there's a market downturn in the western economies, a lot of these highly leveraged private equity buyers are going to find themselves in difficulty. I would hate to see it happen to Countrywide."
He said that in 1973, when the oil crisis precipitated a global economic recession, all the companies that went bust were over-borrowed and incorrectly financed. "It's all fine at the moment, but it will end in tears," he said.