Property advisor DTZ is to acquire rival Cushman & Wakefield from Exor, the Italian family business that founded Fiat. The new company will operate under the Cushman & Wakefield brand.
DTZ employs more than 100 people in Manchester; Cushman & Wakefield's office is far smaller and has struggled to make the same impact on the regional market in its 10 years in the city as some of its multinational rivals.
The combined $5.5bn turnover business will have 43,000 employees globally and manage 4bn sq ft on behalf of institutional, corporate and private clients.
The new business will be a challenger to the perceived international duopoly of 'green machine' CBRE and JLL. Both have large Manchester offices. CBRE also has a Liverpool office.
The expanded full-service offering will provide a unique combination of deep, local market presence with significant scale in core services in the major global markets.
DTZ's Brett White, who will assume the role of chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company, said: "DTZ is elated to be merging under the prominent Cushman & Wakefield brand. The companies have remarkably complementary skills and reach in different geographies – whether in New York, London or Shanghai, this will be a formidable combination."
The investors behind the deal are DTZ parent TPG, a US private equity giant which acquired DTZ last year, alongside Asian investment manager PAG and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which has $150bn of assets.
Cushman & Wakefield, founded in 1917, has 259 offices in 60 countries, employing more than 16,000 people.
Headquartered in Chicago, DTZ has more than 26,000 employees who operate across more than 260 offices in 50 countries.