The Real Deal New York

Avison Young lines up $250M investment from Canadian pension fund

Brokerage used proceeds from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to buy back shares from PE backer
By Rich Bockmann | July 16, 2018 05:30PM

From left: Mark Rose of Avison Young and Stephane Etroy of CDPQ

Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has invested $250 million in Avison Young, which plans to use the capital injection to expand its North American presence.

Avison Young CEO Mark Rose said that the proceeds from the preferred equity investment will be used to repurchase shares in Avison held by its private equity partner, the Vancouver-based Parallel49 Equity.

The deal means that Avison will once again be 100 percent owned by the brokerage’s principals.

“Our principal-led, collaborative culture is one of our critical success factors, and this transaction maintains the alignment of interests created by a company owned and managed by its top talent,” Rose said in a statement.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is one of Canada’s largest pension fund managers and owns the real estate investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Parallel49, previously known as Tricor Pacific Capital, invested $40 million in Avison Young in 2011. That year, Avison opened its first office in New York City.

Despite the recent influx of cash, a source close to the company said Avison does not intend to go public like competitors Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark Knight Frank. Instead, the capital injection will make it more aggressive in the city.

Most recently, the brokerage poached James Nelson from Cushman to bolster its investment sales platform.