International real estate advisor Savills has today confirmed the completion of its acquisition of 100% of Studley, Inc. the leading US independent commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation.
Savills also announces that on 29 May 2014, Studley Inc. agreed to sell its 49.06% interest in AOS Partners Holdings SAS ("AOS Studley"), the French EMEA-focussed project management business, to the founding shareholder of AOS Studley. This follows the announcement on 1 May that the AOS Studley interest would be held as an asset for sale. The sale, which is subject to customary conditions, is due to complete this summer.
The consideration payable by Savills for Studley Inc. is up to US$260 million (up to US$246 million net of the proceeds, which will be retained by Savills, from the agreed sale of Studley Inc's 49.06% interest in AOS Studley), which will be satisfied through a combination of cash, new Savills shares and promissory notes.
The newly combined US business will be re-branded Savills Studley.
Jeremy Helsby, CEO of Savills Plc, comments: "We are delighted to complete this acquisition of Studley and are looking forward to growing the combined business in the US. This deal brings the top US tenant representation brokerage brand into the Savills Group and complements our existing leading positions in the European and Asian markets. We are now well placed to provide exceptional service to clients in the world's key locations."
Mitchell S. Steir, Chairman and CEO of Savills Studley, adds: "This represents a significant step for both firms and our clients. As we join forces with the team at Savills, we are thrilled that we will have a stronger platform to continue our growth with a partner that shares our commitment to superior client service."
Studley's top 500 U.S. clients have over 9,000 locations within Savills current markets outside of the US, highlighting the tremendous business opportunities for both firms.
Savills research highlights the growing importance of US occupiers in the UK office market who, in 2013, acquired 44% of the office space in the 50 largest lettings in Central London, which equated to 2.1 million ft² (approx. 195,000 m²) with names including Google, News International, Amazon, Facebook and Debevoise & Plimpton. Similarly, in the M25 office market, US occupiers accounted for 26% of the space let in the 50 largest deals totalling 600,000 sq ft with deals to Rackspace, Nexen Petroleum, Bechtel, Abbott Laboratories and NetApp.
However, it is not just London and the South East that have seen significant US occupier activity, Savills notes that the UK regions have also seen an increase in occupiers of US nationality. According to the firm's research, across the seven, tier one regional cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh) in 2013, US tenants such as Data Group, Travel Jigsaw, Jacobs Engineering, Worldpay and IBM accounted for 15% of the space let in the 50 largest deals comprising 260,000 ft² (approx. 24,154 m²). This compares to 11% in 2012 totalling 150,000 ft² (approx. 13,935 m²).
Mark Ridley, CEO of Savills UK, comments: "We have seen a growing requirement from US corporates throughout the UK office market over the last few years and this is a trend we only expect to become more prominent. We are very much looking forward to working with our new colleagues at Savills Studley to meet the growing needs of these occupiers and also service our UK clients who are looking to establish a presence or expand in the US market."