Proposed Merger of Altus, Integra Will Benefit Both

The proposed merger, officially announced yesterday, of Altus Group Income Fund and Integra Realty Resources will likely be a strong move forward for both parties.  Altus, a dominant international real estate consulting entity, has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Integra for a consideration expected to consist of cash and equity, according to a prepared statement, with some of the cash raised through bank financing.  Though Altus is somewhat larger, the two firms are roughly similar. Altus has 1,100 employees in 31 offices in 23 Canadian cities and six offices in the U.K. Founded in 1999, Integra has 800 employees in 55 offices, all in the U.S., and is the United States’ largest independent real estate valuation and counseling firm.  Gary DeClark, managing director of the Integra Chicago Metro office, told CPN that the merger, which he emphasized is not yet a done deal, “will be beneficial for everybody…. We bring to them the U.S., and they bring to us the international.”  A potentially even bigger benefit for Integra from the proposed merger, DeClark said, would be better access to capital, specifically for information technology. “As the valuation business expands, the IT needs are substantial.”  Otherwise, he suggested, the post-merger would be largely operations as usual for Integra offices across the country.