14 June 2016 – Cinco Días
The large Spanish real estate consultancy firm par excellence, Aguirre Newman, is going to be acquired by its British rival Savills. The two companies are finalising a purchase agreement, according to sources in the market, which could be closed before the summer. The acquisition price amounts to around €80 million.
The Spanish consultancy firm launched a sale process two months ago, in search of an alliance with an international partner. The company, which was founded in 1988 by Santiago Aguirre (pictured above) and Stephen Newman, the current Presidents, employs around 460 people and recorded revenues of €96 million last year.
If the sale is completed, the co-Presidents Aguirre and Newman will remain at the helm for between four and five years. The rest of the management team will also continue to lead the business, according to sources familiar with the process. The Spanish company operates a real estate broker business in the office, hotel and residential segments; it also performs appraisals, town planning activities and corporate operations.
Besides Savills, the owners of Aguirre Newman have received offers from Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers, in a process that has been advised by the financial group Atlas Capital. But only the British consultancy firm has passed through to the final stage, where the finishing touches still need to be agreed.
Savills, which has declined to comment on the operation, is a real estate broker that recorded turnover of €1,645 million last year, up by 13% YoY. It has a market capitalisation of €1,400 million. Despite being one of the largest consultancy firms in the world, it only has limited operations in Spain, falling behind JLL, CBRE and Aguirre Newman itself. Its business in Spain, where Rafael Merry del Val is President, is strong in operations known as off-market deals.
With this acquisition, Savills will become one of the leading players in the domestic market. The company records revenues of around €11 million in Spain, almost nine times less than the Spanish company. Moreover, it is likely that the British consultancy will retain both brands for a period of time, so as to be more recognisable to its customers.
Experts familiar with the operation indicate that Aguirre Newman brings a strong presence and knowledge of the domestic market, compared to Savills, located in London, which will provide its Spanish subsidiary with strong international links.
Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake