C&W, Savills & Colliers Compete To Buy Aguirre Newman

20 April 2017 – El Confidencial

The final round of the sales process for Aguirre Newman has started and three firms are fighting to take home the trophy. The suitors in question are Cushman & Wakefield, Savills and Colliers, the only three players that have submitted bids for the real estate consultancy firm, according to sources in the market.

The winner is expected to be announced in less than a month. Following the first analysis of the proposals submitted, C&W and Savills are the favourites to reach an agreement with Aguirre Newman, to the detriment of Colliers.

As El Confidencial revealed, Aguirre Newman engaged Atlas Capital in February to organise a sales process that could result in a valuation for the company of between €80 million and €100 million, given that the consultancy firm’s turnover amounts to €80 million and its operating profit (EBITDA) stands at €12 million.

Although there was speculation that venture capital funds, such as Cinven and Apax Partners, may be interested in acquiring the real estate consultancy firm, to take advantage of the recovery in the sector, the underlying reasons that caused the company to organise the sales process in the first place rule out a movement of this kind, a priori.

According to the explanation provided by the head of the group to the workforce, the engagement of Atlas forms part of Aguirre Newman’s new Strategic Plan, which seeks to grow in size and importance, at both the domestic and international levels. The idea is that it may be able to handle that leap in magnitude more quickly if it is able to reach some kind of agreement with another firm in the sector.

Aguirre Newman is the only domestic brand of the large companies that operate in the world of real estate consultancy – the market is dominated by multinationals such as CBRE, JLL, Knight Frank, BNP Paribas Real Estate, C&W, Colliers and Savills. The largest eight players account for more than 90% of the turnover in this market in Spain.

With almost 400 professionals, Aguirre Newman stands out due to its good position in the Spanish capital and due to its architecture division, a “rare species” in the sector, which some of the firms that have expressed interest in the sales process have valued as a differential sign when considering the operation,

In addition to the usual work undertaken by these types of firms – advisory, valuations, appraisals, management… – the Spanish firm has tried to pursue new avenues of growth and expansion, like it did in the past with the fund Zaphir and, more recently, with the creation of a specific business unit for the ‘fintech’ world.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake