Colliers said to be buying RKF: sources

Deal for Robert K. Futterman's firm would continue string of consolidations in industry

TRD New York /
Jun.June 14, 2015 05:38 PM

Colliers International is expected to acquire Robert K. Futterman’s Midtown-based retail brokerage RKF, The Real Deal has learned. The transaction would give Colliers a major retail presence in New York City and continues the commercial industry’s trend toward consolidation. 

According to sources, Futterman informed RKF executives about the acquisition on Friday. A representative for RKF declined to comment to TRD on Sunday, and it is unclear what Colliers is paying for the firm. Michael Cohen, President of the Tri-State Region for Colliers, declined to comment on the acquisition, but said that the industry was “entering a new epoch” in which firms are consolidating and expanding their offerings.

“Expect more to come,” Cohen added.

On June 1, Colliers, with headquarters in both Toronto and Seattle, announced that it was becoming an independent, publicly-traded company, spinning off from FirstService Corp. Colliers’ revenue in 2014 was $1.6 billion, it said at the time, and CFO John Friedrichsen said a $525 million revolving credit facility would allow it, among other things, to make “prudent acquisitions.”

RKF, headed by Robert K. Futterman, was Manhattan’s second-most active retail firm in 2013, based on total square feet leased from 125th Street and below. Top brokers at the firm include Gary Alterman and Karen Bellantoni. RKF estimates it has done about $20 billion worth of deals since its 1998 launch.

In October, TRD reported that CBRE was in talks to acquire the firm, which would have boosted its retail presence in New York City. At the time, insiders predicted that RKF would sell for between $40 million and $80 million. Those figures could not be confirmed.

The Colliers-RKF deal, if completed, would be the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions in commercial brokerage. At the end of 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal Realty Services for a reported $100 million. In January, DTZ, which is backed by private equity firm TPG, bought brokerage Cassidy Turley. And in May, DTZ acquired Cushman for $2 billion.

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