CB Richard Ellis Acquires Romanian Services Firm

CB Richard Ellis Inc. said today it had acquired Eurisko Consulting SRL, the largest independent commercial real estate services company in Romania, for approximately $35 million. Noting that Romania has one of the region’s fastest growing economies, CBRE officials said the acquisition expands the firm’s ability to offer services across Central and Eastern Europe. While the firm has had a presence in Romania for about 12 years, this is the first time it has owned an office in the country.“We expect the Romanian commercial real estate market to see substantial growth over the long term,” Colin Waddell, managing director for CB Richard Ellis, said in a press release. “Eurisko has an enviable track record in Romania and we look forward to working together to deliver a very compelling full service platform for both local and international clients.” Eurisko was founded in 1997. Based in Bucharest, it has 120 employees and offices in other key cities. CB Richard Ellis said the firm has an extensive client portfolio and is also known for investment, agency, valuation, consultancy and research. Since it joined the European Union in January 2007, Romania’s commercial real estate market has picked up steam. Strong economic growth and a skilled, low-cost labor force have added to the interest, according to CB Richard Ellis. Officials said the Romanian office will give CB Richard Ellis the ability to offer a broad range of opportunities to investors seeking high yields available in Central Europe as well as those looking to Romania for back office and support center locations. “Romania has become a country of strategic interest to our clients as they continue to look East. This latest acquisition enables us to respond to these needs and strengthens our platform in the important CEE region,” noted Mike Strong, president of CB Richard Ellis, EMEA. Other large commercial real estate firms have also been active in Romania, including Cushman & Wakefield Inc., which acquired ACTIV Consulting in January 2007. A Feb. 1 CPN report noted that office has since almost tripled in size. ProLogis, a global owner, manager and developer of distribution facilities, is building ProLogis Park Bucharest A1, an industrial park along Bucharest’s A1 motorway, the country’s primary transit corridor. It had announced in April 2006 that it had bought 69 acres and was planning on building six buildings totaling more than 1.7 million square feet of industrial space for a total cost of more than $80 million. GE Real Estate Central and Eastern Europe has also been active in Romania. Last summer, it entered into a joint venture with Helios Phoenix to develop seven logistics and warehouse centers around the country for $236 million, according to a June 27 CPN article. On Jan. 18, 2008, CPN reported that D4 Investments had opened an office in Bucharest, where it will launch its real estate and development company’s Eastern European operations. The Washington, D.C.-based firm was founded last year by former American Ambassador to Romania David Funderburk; Don Rosacker, a U.S. government relations specialist and business executive; and Dan Costea, a Romanian lawyer.