Savills buys UK-based property consultancy GBR Phoenix Beard

19 August 2016

Savills has acquired GBR Phoenix Beard, a UK-based property consultancy with offices in Birmingham, London and Leeds. The bolt-on adds around 200 professionals to Savills’ UK operations, and creates one of the largest real estate advisory firms in Birmingham and the wider Midlands region.

GBR Phoenix Beard is an independent, owner-managed business which support clients with a range of property consulting services, including commercial estate management, office and industrial agency, investment, residential management, building consultancy, lease consultancy, rating, and health and safety services. The firm works for a diverse base of clients such as M&G, Ballymore, CEG, Bruntwood, L&G and Ediston, and manages properties across the UK on behalf of retained clients including Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Standard Life Investments, Calthorpe Estates, Wesleyan and Scarborough Group.

In the year GBR Phoenix Beard turned fifty – the consultancy was founded in 1965 – the firm has decided to merge into Savills, a larger player in the UK, and internationally one of the market’s largest players – globally Savills has 30,000+ people across a network of over 700 offices. “This is a pivotal moment in GBR Phoenix Beard’s history and we are excited by the compelling proposition offered. Savills full-service business, global presence and highly developed infrastructure bring significant opportunities for staff and clients alike”, says Simon Farrant, Managing Director at GBR Phoenix Beard. 

Savills buys UK-based property consultancy GBR Phoenix Beard

As part of the integration, GBR Phoenix Beard Birmingham – the firm’s headquarter and largest hub – will be integrated into Savills’s Midlands operation, for which a new combined office will be opened in due course. The GBR Phoenix Beard teams in London and Leeds will move into Savills existing offices at Margaret Street and City Point. 

The joining of forces will, according to Barry Allen, Head of Savills Birmingham, create a leading advisory firm in Birmingham*, with a particularly strong position and client offering in property management, agency, building surveying and investment. “The combination of the two businesses and our existing market relationships and expertise will create an impressive force in the market. I am very much looking forward to working with the GBR Phoenix Beard team to drive our already strong presence in Birmingham and the wider Midlands area to a new level.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Mark Ridley, CEO of Savills UK and Europe, says the acquisition represents a “unique opportunity” for Savills to further strengthen its offering in the UK. “The deal provides us with high quality staff and a first class client base with a strong level of recurring income.”

Equiteq, an M&A boutique that specialises in deals in the consulting industry, acted as the lead advisor to GBR Phoenix Beard. Equiteq recently also advised on the merger between Asia-based consultancies PMsquare and Cornerstone Performance Management – the transaction was completed earlier this month. 

* Savills Birmingham was established in 1998 and offers a full spectrum of property consultancy and management services.


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”