Cushman & Wakefield to Buy Irish Affiliate

The firm already has a 20 percent stake in the commercial property business. The acquisition involves three offices and more than 100 professionals.
Colin Wilson, EMEA CEO, Cushman & Wakefield
Colin Wilson, EMEA CEO, Cushman & Wakefield

Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is acquiring the remaining stake in Sherry FitzGerald Group’s commercial property business in Ireland, adding more than 100 professionals, as well as offices in Dublin, Limerick and Galway.

The cost of the planned deal was not released but Cushman & Wakefield expects it to close in early September. As part of the transaction, Cushman & Wakefield will also acquire, from Sherry FitzGerald Group, a minority share in its affiliate commercial property businesses in Cork and Belfast.

C&W already has a 20 percent stake in the Irish commercial property business, which operated as its exclusive affiliate in the Republic of Ireland and was rebranded two years ago as Cushman & Wakefield Ireland. It will retain its close affiliate relationship with the wider Sherry FitzGerald Group, which has 97 offices in Ireland.

“This is an exciting next step in an exceptional relationship which first began 20 years ago and reflects the significant increase in cross-border projects on which our team have been collaborating,” Colin Wilson, Cushman & Wakefield’s CEO, EMEA, said in a prepared statement. “We expect further growth as the Irish economy continues to strengthen and we integrate fully as a single firm with a truly seamless operation between Ireland and the U.K.”

L to R: Head of C&W for U.K. and Ireland George Roberts, Steven McKenna, Aidan Gavin

Managing Director Aidan Gavin becomes Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Ireland and will also sit on the firm’s U.K. & Ireland executive committee.

“Our business has gone from strength to strength since adopting the Cushman & Wakefield brand and we have real momentum in the marketplace,” Gavin said in a prepared statement. “We now have the opportunity to move to the next stage by leveraging the resources of our global network to shape the future of Irish property.”

Sherry FitzGerald Group’s CEO Steven McKenna noted that the firm will be opening is 100th office soon in Ireland.

More CRE mergers

Nearly a year ago in the U.S., Cushman & Wakefield agreed to acquire Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq in Minnesota and Cushman & Wakefield Commerce operations in Nevada, Utah and Washington, adding 750 employees and picking up management of 50 million square feet of real estate across 10 offices.

Back in Europe, Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. and Kennedy Wilson Europe completed a merger in late October that had been announced six months earlier. The European firm had 207 office assets totaling 11.4 million square feet in the U.K., Ireland, Spain and Italy. KWE became a wholly owned subsidiary of KW.

Strong momentum

C&W’s acquisition of the commercial unit of the Sherry FitzGerald Group comes as new office developments continue to be built in Ireland’s cities and suburbs for the short-medium term. The market is strong with increased demand from international occupiers, particularly for co-working providers, according to a recent Cushman & Wakefield report.

The first quarter saw significant lease signings with co-working providers such as WeWork. Office activity is being driven by IT/communications and professional services sectors, the report noted. Sales of office properties were strong for the first quarter, accounting for more than half of the investment spending for the period and making it the most dominant CRE sector.

Images courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield