NEW YORK – DTZ, a commercial real estate services backed by the TPG private equity firm, has agreed to acquire Cushman & Wakefield for $2 billion, creating one of the world’s largest realty firms.
The new company, which will operate under the Cushman & Wakefield brand, will have revenues over $5.5 billion, over 43,000 employees and will manage more than 4 billion square feet globally. The new Cushman & Wakefield will vie with JLL as the second-largest commercial realty firm behind global revenue leader CBRE, which had $9 billion in revenue in 2014.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Houston office is led by Tim Relyea, one of the most prolific office leasing brokers in Houston’s real estate history. A number of prominent brokers work in Cushman & Wakefield’s Houston office, including David Cook and Kelley Parker, both former chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors.
Cushman & Wakefield gained a major place in the Houston market in 1991 when it acquired the Horne Co., Houston-based commercial realty firm led by the late Howard Horne, a civic leader as well as a huge player in Houston commercial real estate.
Cushman & Wakefield will be led by Brett White, the former CEO of CBRE.
“DTZ is elated to be merging under the prominent Cushman & Wakefield brand. The companies have remarkably complementary skills and reach in different geographies – whether in New York, London or Shanghai, this will be a formidable combination,” said Brett White, who will assume the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the combined Company.
White added, “While breadth and depth are important to serve clients, it’s not just about size. It’s also about local expertise and deep customer service, which are strong traits of Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ, and ultimately what will differentiate us going forward.”
Speaking on behalf of the investors (TPG, PAG and OTPP), Ben Gray, TPG’s Joint Managing Partner in Asia said, “Our ambitions for the new Cushman & Wakefield are great and we stand ready to assist this global leader to continue to grow and flourish through our relationships, energy and capital.”
The TPG group also bought the Cassidy Turley brokerage firm recently.
Upon completion of the merger, Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano, current International CEO of Cushman & Wakefield and EMEA CEO, will take a senior global leadership role. John Santora, current CEO of North America at Cushman & Wakefield, will become Chief Operating Officer and Chief Integration Officer and Tod Lickerman, current Global CEO of DTZ, will assume the role of President of the global company.
Speaking of EXOR, Cushman & Wakefield’s 80.1% stockholder and one of Europe’s leading listed investment companies, TPG founding partner, David Bonderman, added, “The potential created by this combination would not have been possible without EXOR’s support and positioning of Cushman and Wakefield over the last eight years. EXOR has achieved great success in growing a business that is performing extremely well, and once combined with DTZ, will be even better positioned to further capitalize on the real estate growth trends across the globe. Cushman & Wakefield is one of the strongest brands in the global real estate business and we are delighted to have the opportunity to share in the expansion of this great company.”
The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.
Cushman & Wakefield advises and represents clients on all aspects of property occupancy and investment. Founded in 1917, it has 259 offices in 60 countries, employing more than 16,000 professionals.
Headquartered in Chicago, DTZ has more than 26,000 employees who operate across more than 260 offices in 50 countries.