Avison Young and global private-equity firm EQT, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Avison Young to acquire GVA. Avison Young will combine GVA with Avison Young’s existing UK operations. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.
Gerry Hughes, Chief Executive of GVA, says: “To say I am delighted by this deal is an understatement. We could not have asked for a better outcome for the GVA business, our clients and our staff. We now enter a new era as a key component of a global real estate advisory platform, which will allow us to further flourish and better serve global clients. I look forward to joining the Avison Young partnership and working with Mark, and I want to thank EQT for the support and opportunities it has given to GVA over the last few years.”
Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young said: “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome GVA to Avison Young. This is a transformational event that underpins our ambition and intent to significantly expand our footprint in Europe and beyond. This acquisition adds gravitas, weight, coverage and profile to our international operations as we continue to solidify our global platform while preserving our culture as a Principal-led company. Avison Young and GVA have complementary businesses in the UK, and this combination of expertise and talent will better equip us to serve global clients.”
Rose continues: “We are incredibly impressed with the strategic positioning of GVA, represented by its depth of consultancy and transactional services and long-standing client relationships. We look forward to welcoming the highly experienced senior leaders of GVA as Principals and owners of Avison Young, and to working with our new colleagues and clients across the globe.”
Avison Young currently has 2,700 real estate professionals in 85 offices in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the UK, Germany, Romania and Korea. Upon the closing of the transaction, Avison Young will add 1,500 real estate professionals in 15 offices in the UK, Ireland and Poland. Including GVA Worldwide, the combined operations will have 5,000-plus professionals in more than 120 offices across 25 countries.
Andreas Aschenbrenner, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT, says: "We are thrilled that we have found the perfect long-term home for GVA in Avison Young, which is committed to continuing the growth strategy that GVA embarked on under EQT ownership. I am confident that GVA and Avison Young together will flourish, and I am excited to see GVA and Avison Young grow further to become one of the leading real estate advisors worldwide.”
GVA has a broad customer portfolio of national and international clients, including UK public institutions, multinational corporations, major space users, developers, owners, lenders and investors.
The combined operations of GVA and Avison Young will have 19 offices and 1,600 employees in the UK alone, working with clients on the transaction and consultancy sides of the business.