Commercial Real Estate
News and Insights

Avison Young to acquire U.K.-based GVA in transformational deal

By Mark E. Rose (Toronto)

Avison Young was thrilled to announce last week that we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire U.K.-based GVA in a transformational deal that will reposition Avison Young on the global commercial real estate services stage. (The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2019.)

This is a game-changing event that underpins our ambition and intent to significantly expand our footprint in Europe and beyond, and we are thrilled to welcome GVA to Avison Young.

GVA is a multi-disciplinary business working with occupiers and owners covering transactions (leasing and sales), property management, project and construction management, and consultancy, as well as planning, development and ratings. GVA covers all major property types and has 15 offices in all major U.K. markets as well as a presence in Ireland and Poland. GVA is also a founding member of GVA Worldwide Ltd., an international organization of licensed affiliate commercial real estate companies with offices across 25 countries. Including GVA Worldwide, our combined operations will have 5,000-plus professionals in more than 120 offices across 25 countries.

This acquisition adds gravitas, weight, coverage and profile to our international operations as we continue to solidify our global platform while preserving our culture as a Principal-led company. Avison Young’s U.K. business will now be a genuine challenger brand firmly established among the top commercial real estate advisors in the U.K., North America and the world.

Read the full press release here.

The acquisition will establish our Canadian-based company as the only privately held, Principal-led, global, full-service commercial real estate services firm. More than 5,000 Avison Young professionals and affiliates – aligned with our clients – will now be delivering the next generation of solutions through our innovative, non-siloed and collaborative platform and approach.

We are excited by the international collaboration potential and the opportunity to continue to build our unique partnership model. Joining forces with GVA will provide us with a greater level of scale and capabilities to service our clients globally, and to fuel Avison Young’s continued aggressive growth.

This transaction is a monumental achievement for a company that embarked on a global growth strategy just 10 years ago. Even more significant, the fact that a company of GVA’s prominence and reputation is joining forces with our vision and strategy is a testament to the power of our culture.

Having just spent time with GVA CEO Gerry Hughes, his management team and staff, along with Avison Young’s U.K. leader Jason Sibthorpe, in London, there is an energy and an uncommon sense of partnership at these early stages. We look forward to working with new Principals and Avison Young family members.

As always, we thank our clients, partners and employees for their continued support.

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