Avison Young completes acquisition of GVA

Peter Constantine, new Avison Young Principal and Managing Director, Cardiff

Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing private global commercial real estate services firm, has completed the acquisition of GVA, one of the UK’s leading real estate advisory businesses.

The two companies combined under one unified brand, Avison Young, from Friday (1st February 2019).

The acquisition establishes Avison Young as the only privately held, Principal-led, global, full-service commercial real estate services firm. The combination also establishes Avison Young among the top five commercial real estate advisory businesses in the UK.

Avison Young Principal and U.K. Managing Director Jason Sibthorpe becomes Principal and President, UK; GVA CEO Gerry Hughes becomes Principal and Managing Director, UK and Managing Director, Global Consultancy; and GVA Chair Andy Mottram becomes Principal and Managing Director, Europe.

Peter Constantine, Principal, Avison Young in Cardiff, where 25 people are employed, says,

“Today we’re celebrating GVA joining the Avison Young family and bringing the brand to Wales for the first time. This is fantastic news for our people, future recruits and our clients. We’re joining an organisation of like-minded people, aiming to grow our business and support each other, to deliver for our clients. This marks the start of a new phase of growth for us, and in particular for our team in Cardiff. We’re looking forward to developing our business here even further.”

As a result of the transaction, Avison Young now has approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries. Avison Young adds offices in: the United Kingdom (London, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Maidenhead, Manchester, Newcastle); Austria (Vienna); Bulgaria (Sofia); China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai); Croatia (Zagreb); France (Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Paris); Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki); Italy (Milan, Rome); Norway (Oslo); Poland (Warsaw); Republic of Ireland (Dublin); Romania (Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara); Russia (Moscow); Spain (Madrid); and United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

“This acquisition represents another milestone in our global expansion strategy, and the combination will better position Avison Young to serve our clients across the world,” comments Mark E Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young. “Furthermore, the acquisition establishes Avison Young as the global, disruptive challenger brand. We are now 5,000 strong, having nearly doubled our size and ability to provide clients with whatever they need, wherever in the world they need it.

“In GVA, Avison Young has added a like-minded UK real estate leader – a company that brings a partnership culture formed during more than 200 years in business.”

GVA brings to Avison Young a broad portfolio of national and international clients, including UK public institutions, multinational corporations, major space users, developers, owners, lenders and investors.

The scale and depth of GVA’s offering is evidenced by the firm’s services organised around a client’s lifecycle of real estate: planning and development; project management and building consultancy; transactions; property management services; valuation and business rates.

In the UK alone, Avison Young will now have 18 offices and 1,600 employees working with clients on the transaction and consultancy sides of the business.

“Since Avison Young entered the UK in 2014, we have had the intent and ambition to build a market-leading real estate advisory business by leveraging our unique Principal-owned business model,” adds Jason Sibthorpe.

“We have made significant progress and now, through this transaction, our two complementary businesses have combined to become a leading player in the UK market whilst also significantly strengthening the international capability and coverage. The exciting thing is that this is still the start of our journey with our new Principals and colleagues from GVA. Our ambition to build further and add market-leading talent that marries with our clients’ strategies and expectations is absolute.”