Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing, private and Principal-led, global commercial real estate services firm, announced 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.
Avison Young will use the proceeds to invest in acquisitions and the recruitment of key professionals, fuelling the company’s ongoing growth of its 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. Terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
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,” comments Rose.
“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,” he says.
Moreover, Rose notes that the transaction structure preserves Avison Young’s 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 percent of the common shares of the company.
“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,” says Rose.
“Avison Young’s track record and experienced team speak for themselves: through a well-defined and executed business strategy, the company has grown considerably in recent years, particularly by entering international markets with strong potential,” says Stephane Etroy, Executive Vice-President and Head of Private Equity at CDPQ. “With its unique corporate culture and its long-term vision, Avison Young is an ideal partner for CDPQ, and we look forward to supporting the company as it continues to grow over the coming years.”
Avison Young also announced that CDPQ will be entitled to designate three members of Avison Young’s nine-member Board of Directors.
Credit Suisse acted as Avison Young’s financial advisor in the transaction and DLA Piper LLP (US) and Stikeman Elliott LLP served as Avison Young’s legal advisors.
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