Pacific Union International to acquire Partners Trust: sources

Deal is expected to close next week

Mark McLaughlin, CEO-of Pacific Union, and Nick Segal, CEO of Partners Trust (PU, PT)
Mark McLaughlin, CEO-of Pacific Union, and Nick Segal, CEO of Partners Trust (PU, PT)

Los Angeles has seen an influx of boutique brokerages enter the market in the past decade, but lately, consolidation is the name of the game.

Hot off the heels of acquiring John Aaroe Group, Pacific Union International is inches away from closing on a deal to acquire another L.A. boutique residential brokerage, The Real Deal has learned.

The San Francisco-based giant — which claims to be America’s eight-largest real estate brokerage by sales volume — is buying Partners Trust, the luxe firm led by co-founder and CEO Nick Segal. The deal is expected to close next week, according to sources with knowledge of the acquisition. The purchase price could not be confirmed.

Partners Trust, founded by Segal, F. Ron Smith, Richard Stearns, Hugh Evans III and David Findley (who is now at the Agency), has seven offices in L.A. County with more than 240 associates, according to its website. In addition to its headquarters in Beverly Hills, there are Partners Trusts outposts in Brentwood, Santa Monica, Ocean Park (a submarket in Santa Monica), La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena and Malibu, according to its website. The firm also has a single-agent office in Shanghai that is mostly used for Chinese buyers looking to acquire property in L.A., or elsewhere in the U.S.

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Pacific Union, led by CEO Mark McLaughlin, kept John Aaroe’s name and its agents when it acquired the firm in December.  Sources said it is likely to take the same tact with Partners Trust.

Representatives of Partners Trust declined to comment. Pacific Union could not be reached.

Rumors of the pending Partners Trust acquisition may have kickstarted Douglas Elliman’s recent purchase of Teles Properties, sources said. The New York-based brokerage was in talks to acquire Teles for more than a year before finally sealing the deal this week. Fears of Pacific Union’s second major acquisition in the area lit fire under Elliman to close, insiders speculated. It’s not yet clear how much Elliman is paying to acquire Teles, but when the deal closes Elliman’s total agent count in California will be 630.

Between Partners Trust, John Aaroe Group and Mark Company, Pacific Union would have more than 1,400 agents in the state. Of its 46 offices, 17 will be based in L.A.