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Avison Young and GVA to merge

Regional Senior Director for GVA in the Midlands, Carl Potter

Avison Young has reached an agreement to acquire GVA from its current owner, private equity firm EQT. 

Avison Young will combine GVA with Avison Young’s existing UK operations. Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.

GVA is a multi-disciplinary business offering clients a service that spans the entire property life cycle from strategy and planning through to delivery and management. The firm has 1,500 employees in 15 offices in the UK, Ireland and Poland.

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 and is a founding member and majority shareholder of GVA Worldwide Ltd., an international organisation of licensed affiliate commercial real estate companies with offices across 25 countries.

The firm operates 25 business units across sectors and disciplines including: planning, development and regeneration; land and development; business rates; valuation consultancy; restructuring and recovery; energy and natural resources; lease consultancy; corporate solutions; retail, hotels and leisure; offices; industrial and distribution; automotive and roadside; property management; and asset management.

Carl Potter, Senior Regional Director for the Midlands at GVA, said: “GVA is a great business that has found a truly wonderful long term home and we are merging with a partnership that has terrific values and a culture that is really close to our own.

“This merger provides us with an exceptional worldwide platform across 25 countries and provides clients with additional choice and provides our people with the opportunity to grow their careers in a stable and forward looking growth environment.”

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.

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. Avison Young’s UK business will now be a genuine challenger brand firmly established among the top commercial real estate advisors in the UK, North America and the world. 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.”

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.”