Avison Young enters into agreement to acquire GVA in transformational deal

Gordon Isgrove, Principal, Avison Young in Bristol

Avison Young has announced that it is to acquire GVA.

Avison Young will combine GVA with its existing UK operations. Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.

GVA, which employs 80 people in its Bristol office, is a multi-disciplinary business offering clients a service that spans the entire property life cycle from strategy and planning through to delivery and management. The firm has 1,500 employees in 15 offices in the UK, Ireland and Poland. GVA is also a founding member and majority shareholder of GVA Worldwide Ltd., an international organisation of licensed affiliate commercial real estate companies with offices across 25 countries.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome GVA to Avison Young,” comments Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young. “This is a transformational event that underpins our ambition and intent to significantly expand our footprint in Europe and beyond. Avison Young’s UK business will now be a genuine challenger brand firmly established among the top commercial real estate advisors in the UK, North America and the world.

“Avison Young and GVA have complementary businesses in the UK, and this combination of expertise and talent will better equip us to serve global clients.”

Upon the closing of the transaction, Avison Young will have 19 offices and 1,600 employees in the UK alone. Including GVA Worldwide, the combined operations will have 5,000-plus professionals in more than 120 offices across 25 countries.

Gordon Isgrove, Regional Senior Director for GVA’s Bristol office says, “This provides a fantastic opportunity for all our staff and clients to benefit from Avison Young’s global positioning particularly within the North American market. We look forward to building on our long-standing client relationships through becoming a part of the Avison Young global real estate advisory business and bringing the brand to the South West for the first time.

“This is great timing given that this year we are celebrating 50 years of GVA being in Bristol, and marks a great future for the company in the region.”

The scale and depth of GVA’s offering is evidenced by the firm’s 25 business units across sectors and disciplines including: planning, development and regeneration; land and development; business rates; valuation consultancy; health; building consultancy; investment; retail, hotels and leisure; offices; industrial and distribution.

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

“Our approach to growth in the UK continues to be both disruptive and holistic,” adds Jason Sibthorpe, Avison Young Principal and UK Managing Director. “Our focus is always client-centric and our enlarged platform will complement our existing offerings, giving our clients total coverage across the real estate advisory landscape. We intend to continue to invest, and we see great opportunity for further growth in all areas, particularly in the transactional space. The history of GVA spans two centuries, and its rich heritage and longtime employees, combined with Avison Young’s existing skilled team in the UK region, will give us an unrivalled ability to serve all client needs. Our Principal-led partnership model is in the DNA of GVA, and we anticipate great success for our combined businesses.”