Cushman & Wakefield acquires real estate firms in US and Italy

25 August 2016

Property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield has recently completed three acquisitions. In the US the firm purchased Atlanta-based Multi Housing Advisors and Austin-based Oxford Commercial, while in Italy the real estate advisor picked up Cogest Retail.

With over 43,000 employees in more than 60 countries, Cushman & Wakefield is one of the globe’s largest commercial real estate services firms. The company, founded in 1917 and headquartered in ‎Chicago, supports clients with property advisory, agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services, global occupier services, investment & asset management, project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation.

In line with the firm’s growth ambition, Cushman & Wakefield has in recent months added three new businesses to its footprint. The bolt-on of Multi Housing Advisors (MHA), an Atlanta-based firm, creates, according to the consultancy, the leading multifamily brokerage platform in the Southeast US. Founded in 2002, MHA has sold more than 140,000 multifamily units through more than 850 individual transactions, and in the past five years produced average sales growth of 55% and transaction volume totalling more than $5.9 billion.

The deal sees 13 brokerage professionals and a staff of 35 across offices in Birmingham and Charlotte join Cushman & Wakefield. MHA cofounders Josh Goldfarb and Marc Robinson will serve as Cushman & Wakefield’s US multifamily leaders and will be based in Atlanta and Charlotte. The MHA leadership team also includes Jimmy Adams in Birmingham, Jordan McCarley in Charlotte and Tyler Averitt and Robert Stickel in Atlanta. They join Cushman & Wakefield’s existing Southeast multifamily group led by Chris Spain, Michael Kemether and Brandon Whitesell. 

“Adding MHA exemplifies Cushman & Wakefield’s commitment to growing our capital markets platform, especially in the multifamily sector,” says Noble Carpenter, Cushman & Wakefield President for Capital Markets in the Americas. He adds: “MHA is a seamless fit culturally, which is a crucial element as we combine operations and continue to build momentum.”

Cushman & Wakefield buys Multi Housing Advisors, Oxford Commercial and Cogest Retail

The company’s second acquisition in the US is that of Oxford Commercial, an Austin-based firm that has been serving clients in the areas of commercial brokerage, investment sales, development consulting, market research and related advisory services since 1993. Oxford Commercial has been an alliance partner to Cushman & Wakefield since 2007, and based on the successful collaboration, the global property consultancy has decided to now fully acquire the firm.

“It’s a priority for our firm to have a strong corporate presence in dynamic markets, and this acquisition brings an enhanced competitive edge to our client service support in Austin” explains Mike Smith, President of the West Region at Cushman & Wakefield.

Spencer Hayes, Managing Partner of Oxford Commercial, who will remain as Managing Principal under the new structure, says it is a fitting return to Cushman & Wakefield, the firm he worked with prior to founding Oxford Commercial. “Oxford Commercial’s founding partners purchased the company from Cushman & Wakefield in 1993, so we already feel like part of the family. With the Cushman & Wakefield platform, we are eager to extend our ability to offer aligned services and continue our focus on quality service delivery for Oxford Commercial’s valued clients.”

In Europe, Cushman & Wakefield has bought the entire share capital of Cogest Retail, a retail asset services and leasing firm with a portfolio of 51 shopping centres and retail parks across Italy and more than 1.5 million square meter of floor space under management. Cogest Retail and its approximately 150 employees will be integrated into Cushman & Wakefield’s EMEA Asset Services business – the consolidated business will manage circa 3.5 million square meters of floor space in Italy. 

Commenting on the deal, Joachim Sandberg, Head of Italy and the Southern Europe region at Cushman & Wakefield, says: “This marks a very significant moment for our Italian business. The benefits for employees and clients, as well as the commercial potential, made this a very compelling step to take.”

Carmen Chieregato, who will continue to work as Managing Director of Cogest Retail in the newly-expanded business, reflects on the joining of forces: “We are very excited about this next phase of our development. This acquisition gives us the opportunity to combine our already successful business model with Cushman & Wakefield’s experience and resources. It also acknowledges our achievements to date thanks to our committed team and the trust of our clients.”