Residential property firm Countrywide has failed to win majority shareholder approval for the private-equity backed management buyout of the firm.

The buyout, backed by private equity group 3i, recommended a £940.7m cash and shares deal. It needed backing from 75% of the shareholders, but only 58% voted in favour at a reconvened court meeting today.

Countrywide, which owns the Bairstow Eves estate agency, said it would indefinitely adjourn the reconvened emergency general meeting.