CBRE buys £960m stake in Leeds’ Turner & Townsend

Turner & Townsend CEO Vincent Clancy

CBRE Group, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, announced it agreed to acquire a 60% ownership interest in Leeds-based infrastructure consultancy giant Turner & Townsend for £960 million in cash.

Turner & Townsend employs more than 7,000 people in 112 offices and serves clients in 46 countries.

The Horsforth, Leeds-headquarted firm is known for its high-profile project management assignments like the Shard in London.

“CBRE will acquire a 60% stake for approximately £960 million ($1.3 billion) in cash, with 55% to be paid upon closing,” said CBRE.

“The transaction preserves Turner & Townsend’s existing leadership team, heritage, operational independence and partnership structure, which will hold the remaining 40% ownership interest.

“The transaction values Turner & Townsend at approximately £1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) and is expected to be immediately accretive to CBRE’s earnings.”

Dallas-based CBRE said Turner & Townsend provides program management, cost consultancy, project management and advisory consulting services for clients in 46 countries.

It said Turner & Townsend operates across three business segments: real estate (62% of net revenue); infrastructure (31% of net revenue); and natural resources (7% of net revenue).

For the 12 months ended April 30, 2021, Turner & Townsend’s net revenue was £665 million ($923 million) and adjusted EBITDA was £124 million ($172 million).

“This is a transformational transaction for our project management business in terms of both breadth and scale of capabilities,” said CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic.

“We see sizable secular growth opportunities in project management, which are being propelled by rising public and private infrastructure investment and the drive to a low-carbon global economy.

“Turner & Townsend is by far the best firm to help us realize our ambitions for this business.

“It is an exceptionally well-run company with a first-rate brand, enviable client base and expertise that complements our capabilities.”

CBRE said that among the key benefits to Turner & Townsend from the strategic partnership is the opportunity to materially expand its business in the Americas, where CBRE has “deep occupier and investor relationships and a leading market presence.”

Turner & Townsend CEO Vincent Clancy said: “The combined partnership of CBRE and Turner & Townsend will create the premier global provider of program, project and cost management from day one.

“Turner & Townsend will continue to offer independent advice, solutions and program level thinking across the Real Estate, Infrastructure and Natural Resources sectors.

“Our global network means this applies everywhere in the world – we operate where our clients operate.

“The combination of unrivalled global footprint, sector expertise, commitment to investment and an incredible team of people will make CBRE and Turner & Townsend the go-to firms in our industry.”

Clancy and the existing Turner & Townsend management team will continue to run the company on a day-to-day basis, and all its services will continue to be delivered under the Turner & Townsend brand.

Turner & Townsend’s financial results will be consolidated and reported within CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) business segment.

Turner & Townsend will be governed by a new board of directors, consisting of three CBRE executives – CEO Sulentic, Jack Durburg, Global CEO, GWS, and Chandra Dhandapani, Chief Transformation Officer and COO, GWS, and three Turner & Townsend executives – CEO Clancy, Jeremy Lathom-Sharp, Finance Director, and James Dand, Chief Operating Officer.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Closing is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Dentons are acting as legal advisors to CBRE.

Rothschild & Co is acting as financial advisor and Pinsent Masons LLP as legal advisor to Turner & Townsend.

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.