9 May 2017 – Cinco Días
The future of the real estate consultancy firm Aguirre Newman will be up for debate over the next few weeks, as the current shareholders decide whether to sell the company to one of the three competitors from which it has received proposals. In any case, the founders and presidents Santiago Aguirre (pictured above) and Stephen Newman, as well as the rest of the management team, will continue at the helm, according to market sources.
The owners of Aguirre Newman have received offers that value the company at around €80 million, an operation for which the financial group Atlas Capital has been engaged. The bids come from its rivals in the market: Cushman & Wakefield, Savills and Colliers, as revealed by El Confidencial and confirmed by sources in the sector. All three are international firms, with a smaller presence than the Spanish company in the domestic real estate market, but all of whom are strong at the international level.
And that is precisely what was of interest to the owners of the Spanish company: how to how to tackle the international market as an independent consultancy of the calibre of the global firms, as leader of the domestic market, together with JLL and CBRE. In fact, according to these sources, the owners are considering an alternative plan involving alliances overseas if this sale is ruled out in the end.
The three offers involve retaining the two founders as presidents – participating in the management – but, under one of the proposals, the two directors would retain only an institutional role. In all of the cases, the Aguirre Newman brand would disappear, although the Spanish management team would continue to lead the business for a certain period, which in other similar cases, tends to be for between four and five years.
Not all of the offers are for 100% of the company, given that under one of them, the current shareholders and executives would take on a minority stake in the new company, through which the buyer would operate in Spain.
Currently, the company’s shareholders are in the middle of considering the possibilities, and the plan is for them to take a decision over the next few weeks, based on the benefits and drawbacks of each bid. The US firm Cushman & Wakefield is the favourite in the running, given that following its merger at the global level with DTZ last year, it now has plans to debut on the stock market, something that the current owners of Aguirre Newman may find attractive, according to experts in the sector.
In the case of Savills and Colliers, their presence in the Spanish market is somewhat smaller, and so from their offices in London and Toronto, respectively, they are considering a direct investment in Aguirre Newman to promote their growth in Spain.
Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake