GVA undertakes major merger with James Barr in Scotland (UK)

GVA exchanged contracts with James Barr ltd, a leading Scottish property specialist, on Friday 4 October to acquire the business. This major deal sees GVA break into Scotland’s top three property advisories.

The combined businesses of GVA north of the border and James Barr will operate as GVA James Barr.

This strategic acquisition, which marks a major statement of intent by GVA to expand within the Scottish property market, creates Scotland’s third largest commercial property advisory by turnover. It also strengthens, bolsters and expands its position as one of Scotland’s finest multidisciplinary advisory-led offers.

This game-changing partnership has significantly strengthened GVA’s presence in Glasgow in particular, as well as its existing public sector facing team.

Rob Bould, Chief Executive of GVA, comments: “We’re delighted to acquire such a prestigious business in James Barr. This will be a truly transformational partnership for both companies. James Barr has long been at the forefront of Scotland’s property scene and maintains deep rooted bonds with the Scottish corporate, private and public sectors. At this stage in the economic cycle, this is a first class acquisition of what is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s leading surveyors , which builds on the excellent client reach achieved by our teams in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“GVA has entered a period of growth allowed largely by the restructuring of the business last year, an event which leaves us just 12 months away from becoming a debt free business as well as increasing our profits substantially, coupled with the strongest trading performances this company has seen since 2007. These events have turned GVA into a far safer and stronger proposition. As such this business is confident, and that's why we’ve not only acquired James Barr, but we’re also securing a number of high level appointments to grow our existing teams and offices throughout the UK.”

Eric Forgie, Chief Executive of James Barr comments: “Having completed a strategic review of our business, it was clear we needed to upscale our operations to meet the increasing demand for our services in what has become a fiercely competitive marketplace for property consultancy and transactional advice. James Barr has traded profitably and remains debt free, as it has done continually over its 140 year history.

“The merging of two high calibre businesses in GVA James Barr is a game-changer, allowing us to capitalize on the opportunities now emerging in various sectors whilst continuing to offer a best in class service to our existing clients. There are also tremendous opportunities for our staff to tap into the extensive resources deployed across GVA’s network of offices both in the UK and abroad.”

Keith Aitken, Regional Senior Director and Head of GVA in Scotland, comments: “The merger with James Barr has marked a significant event for all of us in Scotland. Integration of the two complementary teams is a tremendous enhancement to both businesses. With very little in the way of duplication throughout our respective teams, this deal fits very well to create strength and depth across all our service lines. The move will introduce a number of highly impressive specialist surveyors, planners and consultants to further supplement our existing team. The deal will offer both businesses the strength in depth required to compete pan sector throughout Scotland.”

Source: GVA

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