Global commercial real estate services companies Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ have agreed to merge, as DTZ buys Cushman in a deal valued at approximately $2 billion.
Chicago-based DTZ and New York-based Cushman & Wakefield are each among the largest global players in the industry and have sizable operations in San Diego County. Earlier this year, the San Diego office of Cushman & Wakefield lost more than a dozen brokers who switched to rival firms amid reports that Cushman’s Italian parent firm, Exor SpA, was seeking a buyer.
In a joint statement, company officials said the two firms have reached a definitive agreement to merge, and the combined company will take the name Cushman & Wakefield when the deal closes by the end of the year.
The new company will have combined annual revenue of more than $5.5 billion, over 43,000 employees and manage more than 4 billion square feet of commercial real estate globally, officials said.
On completion of the merger, Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano, current international CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, will take a senior global leadership role. Current Cushman North America CEO John Santora will become chief operating officer and chief integration officer, and Tod Lickerman, current global CEO of DTZ, will become president of the combined company.
DTZ entered the San Diego market earlier this year after its parent operating consortium acquired Washington, D.C.-based Cassidy Turley for an undisclosed cost. Cushman & Wakefield has been active in the local region since acquiring Burnham Real Estate in 2008.
According to information supplied by brokerage firms for San Diego Business Journal’s 2015 Book of Lists, DTZ is the local region’s second-largest service provider based on local full-time licensed agents, with 96 as of Oct. 2014. Cushman & Wakefield was the fourth-largest at that time, with 57 full-time licensed agents.
Based on the latest available data, from the 2014 Book of Lists, the former Cassidy Turley brokered $1.3 billion in local commercial transactions in 2012, the second-highest among brokerage firms; and Cushman & Wakefield brokered $1.14 billion, for the third-highest tally.