JLL, CBRE hungry for more businesses and other brokerages in 2016

Cushman & Wakefield may go public in order to compete

<em>From left: Robert Sulentic, CEO of CBRE, and Colin Dyer, CEO of JLL</em>
From left: Robert Sulentic, CEO of CBRE, and Colin Dyer, CEO of JLL

The biggest commercial real estate brokerages had a voracious appetite for brokerages and other businesses this year, and experts say they are likely to remain hungry in 2016.

CBRE Group and JLL, the largest of their kind in the world, scooped up several brokerages and niche businesses this year, a sign of a thriving market and a shift in demand for firms with greater global clout, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

In September, Los Angeles-based CBRE closed on its $1.47 billion acquisition of Johnson Control’s facilities management business, Global Workplace Solutions. It also scooped up United Commercial Realty, Environmental Services Inc. and PKF Consulting. Chicago-based JLL closed or announced 25 deals between the  2014 and the beginning of 2015, totaling more than $500 million, the newspaper reported.

Cushman & Wakefield, however, slowed its acquisitions after its $2 billion merger with DTZ. Analysts said Cushman likely isn’t keeping pace in the acquisition game because it has more debt than JLL and CBRE. The firm, however, seems poised to go public next year, which would help in competing with the two commercial giants.

The volume of acquisitions is, in part, thanks to record-high sales and prices. The firms are also trying to expand their international experience and rely less on volatile broker commissions.  [WSJ]Kathryn Brenzel