Nine Bristol partners cash in on £197m takeover

May 31, 2011

The nine Bristol-based partners of property consultants King Sturge could potentially each be at least £1m better off today as a result of a £197m takeover of their firm by rival Jones Lang LaSalle, the global commercial real estate consultancy.

New York-listed Jones Lang LaSalle announced the merger on May 27 and the  deal is expected to close officially today. It will involve an initial £98m cash payment followed by additional payments over the next five years.

Nationally, King Sturge has 87 partners – and their share of the deal will depend on the size of their individual equity stakes. The takeover is potentially good news for King Sturge in the region since Jones Lang LaSalle have no offices in the South West.


The deal will combine King Sturge’s strengths in the UK regions and London, with JLL’s global reach, which is growing as international investors pour into West End and City deals.

King Sturge’s 43 offices across Europe will be rebranded under the JLL name with Richard Batten, joint senior partner at King Sturge,  becoming executive chairman of the UK business and Andrew Gould retaining his position as JLL chief executive in the UK.

Mr Batten insisted at the weekend that it was “a 50-50 merger”, with staff and income split 50-50, and played down the risk of key King Sturge agents leaving the business.

“Why would you?” he said. “This will be the number one business in the UK. Why would anyone want to leave? It is a great opportunity.”
It is predicted that with the purchase of King Sturge – already the largest real estate consulting firm in the UK – Jones Lang will increase revenue many times, especially in Europe. Jones Lang LaSalle has expanded to more than 60 countries. “Merging these two companies is creating an attractive proportion for both companies in terms of business,” said Christian Ulbrich Jones Lang CEO for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

King Sturge has 4,200 employees in 45 countries worldwide, including 175 in Bristol. It handled commercial real estate purchases totalling £3.3bn last year.

The deal’s main effect will probably be felt on the UK market, where 24 King Sturge offices are located but expansion in Central and South-Eastern Europe is likely.


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