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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) invests $250 million in Avison Young to fuel commercial real estate firm’s growth and global expansion strategy

By Mark E. Rose (Toronto)

Avison Young was extremely excited to announce last week that Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, has made a $250-million preferred equity investment to accelerate Avison Young’s strategic growth plan.

This transaction is another milestone in the history of Avison Young, and we have never been more excited about our plans to enhance our platform, disrupt and differentiate ourselves against our competitors, and continue to be recognized as our clients’ solutions provider of choice. 

We will use the proceeds to invest in acquisitions and the recruitment of key professionals, fuelling our company’s ongoing growth of our global footprint and service-line capabilities. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be used to repurchase the shares held by the firm’s current private equity partner, Parallel49 Equity (formerly known as Tricor Pacific Capital Inc.), as well as shares of certain other non-management founders and former Principals of Avison Young.

With $298.5 billion in net assets, CDPQ’s global portfolio of investments spans across various markets and sectors, including private equity, real estate and infrastructure.

We look forward to a collaborative relationship with CDPQ and its large global network, and benefitting from the ability to share expertise, deal flow, market intelligence and resources as we continue to grow our business across the spectrum of commercial real estate services in North America and other key markets globally.

We are gratified by CDPQ’s support of our growth strategy, which we launched from a base of 11 offices in Canada and expanded to 84 offices across North America and Europe in just under 10 years – and growing revenue more than 15 times during that period. CDPQ’s investment will provide additional momentum as we accelerate our innovative and technology-based capabilities and market presence to serve clients facing today’s rapidly changing real estate environment.

Moreover, the transaction structure preserves our unique position as a private, Principal-managed and led organization. As a result of this transaction, the Principals of Avison Young will once again own 100% of the common shares of the company. CDPQ will be entitled to designate three members of Avison Young's nine-member Board of Directors.

We thank Parallel49 (Tricor) for its support and confidence in our growth strategy over the past 6.5 years, and for assisting us in the execution of our compelling strategy. Through its support, Tricor has played a vital role in our growth to date, and we could not have asked for better partners.

Our Principal-led, collaborative culture is one of our critical success factors, and this transaction maintains the alignment of interests created by a company owned and managed by its top talent.
We thank our clients, partners and employees for their continued support.

Read press release here:

(Mark E. Rose is chair and CEO of Avison Young.)

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