Potential buyer pool for CushWake could be small: analysts

Agnelli family doesn't want to sell to direct competitor

From left: Cushman's Edward Forst and Exor's John Elkann
From left: Cushman's Edward Forst and Exor's John Elkann

While the timing might be right to sell Cushman & Wakefield, the number of potential buyers is limited, according to analysts.

The Agnelli family’s Exor SpA is selling the real estate services firm, which could fetch as much as $2 billion. It’s a good time to sell businesses that make money through real estate services, because their values are high and the economy is recovering, analysts told the Wall Street Journal.

“The momentum in the business is considerable,” Mitch Germain, senior research analyst at JMP Securities, told the newspaper. “Anybody who enters is going to be a beneficiary of this momentum immediately.”

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But partially due to the fact that the Agnellis don’t want to sell Cushman to a direct competitor, the pool of potential buyers is somewhat small, the newspaper reported. Private equity firms could be among the potential buyers, and financial services companies and investment firms could also throw their hats into the ring.

Analysts project that the company will fetch as much as $2 billion and a new buyer will likely have to invest additional money to pay for the company’s proposed expansion.

Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal Realty Services for $100 million late last year. [WSJ] — Claire Moses