Avison Young (GVA)


Formerly known as GVA (until February 2019).

News Wall: (3)

25/02/2019 21:45

Avison Young completed the acquisition of UK-based GVA in February 2019. The two companies have combined under Avison Young name and brand.

The acquisition establishes Canada-based 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.

To further promote the firm’s culture of partnership, Avison Young also announced today the post-acquisition leadership team: 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.

As a result of the transaction, Avison Young now has approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries.

“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 Rose. “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.”

Rose continues: “The acquisition increases our scale and presence, expands our global talent pool and reach, and enhances the breadth and balance of our services. Most importantly, the combination increases the resources that we can invest in innovation to keep our clients ahead of the curve.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. As a result of the merger, Avison Young increases its revenue to 25 times its 2008 level to approximately C$1 billion.

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 acquisition includes GVA Worldwide Ltd. – an international organization of licensed affiliate commercial real estate advisory companies with offices in 20 countries. GVA has 1,500 employees in 15 offices in the UK, Ireland and Poland alone, and is a founding member and majority shareholder of GVA Worldwide.

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

“Overnight, the ambitious growth strategy that I set out for our business three years ago has been achieved, and we can now serve our clients as a global full-service business, with an enviably strong consultancy and transactional offer,” states Hughes. “The opportunities for our combined platform are vast, and I see one of the biggest growth areas stemming from the increasing trend for clients to seek strategic multi-consultancy real estate advice, which demands market intelligence, expertise and connections. The ability to provide such advice on a global scale is extraordinary and I look forward to helping to deliver that potential.”

He adds: “To say I’m delighted would be an understatement. Our merger with Avison Young is the perfect outcome for our business and our clients, and is the biggest opportunity that we have had since Grimley & Son and JR Eve merged in 1988.”

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 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.”

In connection with the transaction, Avison Young has optimized its capital structure through a recapitalization. The acquisition and the refinancing have been funded through a combination of cash on hand, committed financing from Credit Suisse, CIBC and BofA Merrill Lynch, and additional common equity, including participation by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). Avison Young has ample capital to invest further in its global growth strategy.

Also in conjunction with the transaction, GVA senior directors who will become Avison Young Principals, and certain other GVA employees, will receive Avison Young shares.

Credit Suisse and KPMG LLP acted as Avison Young’s financial advisors in the acquisition of GVA; and Gowling WLG (UK), DLA Piper LLP (US and UK) and Stikeman Elliott LLP (Canada) served as Avison Young’s legal advisors.

Rose added: “This is a very exciting and memorable day in the history of Avison Young. As a result of the acquisition, our combination fortifies the pillars of our culture – honesty and integrity, investment in people, a Principal-owned model, a lack of service-line silos, and best-in-class internal and external resources to provide exemplary service to clients. We look forward to working with our new clients, colleagues and partners around the world.”

Over the past 10 years, Avison Young has grown from 300 real estate professionals in 11 offices in Canada to, now, approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries.

Avison Young is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its Principals. Founded in 1978, with legacies dating back more than 200 years, the company comprises approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries. The firm’s experts provide value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management and financing services to clients across the office, retail, industrial, multi-family and hospitality sectors.

14/11/2016 19:42

Bilfinger GVA, the leading UK real estate advisory business, has been renamed GVA.

The announcement of the company’s new name was made at its annual directors’ conference earlier today, and follows on from the re-naming of its parent company to APLEONA in October.

Gerry Hughes, Chief Executive of GVA, comments: “We’re delighted to present our new name for our UK business. This important announcement marks another positive step in what is the start of a transformational period for this company. Importantly for us, retaining our historic name as the cornerstone of our identity going forward maintains the heritage and significant commercial value associated with GVA.

“This equips us well in moving closer towards our wider vision for growth. As the UK’s leading real estate advisory business this is an exciting opportunity to build upon our market position here in the UK. It also enables us to grow throughout continental Europe alongside our much valued overseas colleagues and affiliates.”

As well as retaining the commercial value of GVA, this positive change brings the company brand identity in line with that of its parent company APLEONA.

This most recent announcement, as well as that of its parent company, follows the sale of the then Bilfinger Building and Facility business segment, now APLEONA, to private equity firm EQT in August.

APLEONA, with headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, is active in more than 30 countries with a broad real estate and industrial advisory service. Revenue of € 2.5 billion was generated in 2015 with 22,000 employees.

Gerry Hughes adds: “We’re confident we can become the undisputed market leader in real estate advisory and management services in the UK and Europe.”

05/07/2011 22:10

Leading UK property consultant, GVA has won Corporate Property Adviser of the Year at this year’s Property Marketing Awards in London.
The award showcases how the company repositioned itself at the beginning of 2011 in its bid to become a top five player in the commercial property industry within five years.

The Award recognised the scale of this task that saw the relaunch of the GVA brand and corporate identity through a well-executed creative campaign, and the movement away from the 'Grimley' name, after nearly 200 years.

The project included high profile activity and sponsorship work across GVA's 12 offices, encompassing events, research, PR, client development, internal communications, advertising and the reworking of all marketing materials and creation of a new 150-page website.

All of this work intended to create a consistent client/employee experience, to reinforce GVA's capabilities as a trusted adviser and the value it delivers to clients.

The Marketing team worked closely with other teams in GVA e.g. Client Relationship Management, HR and Business Development, to ensure that messaging was focused on growing key client groups and markets and that the company's corporate values were reflected internally in policies, culture and performance.