For Studley, $260M Merger with Savills Promises Blooming Global Platform

"We will be uniquely positioned to develop new business from around the globe, while continuing to deliver exceptional service to clients,” Mitchell Steir, Studley’s chairman & CEO, told CPE.

 It’s not yet set in stone, but the planned $260 million merger of Studley with Savills announced on Thursday is close enough for the New York-based services firm to taste the new international opportunities.

Studley Chairman & CEO Mitchell Steir

Studley Chairman & CEO Mitchell Steir

Studley has been managing its international assignments through AOS Studley, its Paris-based affiliate, in which the company owns a 49 percent stake. But as a merged entity, which will operate as Savills Studley in the U.S., the 60-year-old firm will have the world as its oyster.

“With little overlap within each firm’s geographic locations and existing clients, we will be uniquely positioned to develop new business from around the globe, while continuing to deliver exceptional service to clients,” Mitchell Steir, Studley’s chairman & CEO, told CPE.

Of course, there’s something in it for London-based Savills, too—a bigger piece of the U.S. market. According to the most recent survey by Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, the U.S. continues to rank with foreign investors as the world’s most stable and secure destination for capital, surpassing second-place Germany by more than 50 percentage points.

“Studley is recognized for its exceptional tenant representation expertise and is the leading player in markets throughout the United States,” Jeremy Helsby, Savills’ group chief executive, said in a statement. “The combination of Studley and Savills represents a unique opportunity which not only provides us with a significant platform for growth in the U.S., but also enhances our offering to clients worldwide, allowing us to provide a truly global service.”

Studey’s turnover in 2013 was $233 million, and the firm has already gotten off to a good start this year, having closed the first quarter of 2014 with a marked improvement over the first quarter of 2013.

The financials of the planned merger have been hashed out. Savills will pony up $130 million of the initial consideration with of cash and up to 6.1 million new ordinary shares of Savills. The remaining $130 million will come in the form of promissory notes.

If all goes as planned, the merger will close on or before May 30.