JLL buys King Sturge for £197m

Staff in the Manchester offices of Jones Lang LaSalle and King Sturge will be waiting to see the impact of their merger after the deal was confirmed on Friday morning.

The combined firm will be the largest property services company in the UK and in continental Europe.

There are several duplicate teams in Manchester across the two offices including office agency, investment and industrial. The King Sturge Manchester office, based in One Piccadilly Gardens, is the larger of the two with around 115 staff, compared to JLL's 45 in Chancery Place.

The transaction is expected to close formally 31 May 2011. Under its terms, Jones Lang LaSalle will pay £197m to the partners of King Sturge, with £98m in cash at closing and the balance paid out in cash over five years.

All 43 King Sturge offices and businesses across Europe, including 24 in the UK, will become part of Jones Lang LaSalle and will operate under the Jones Lang LaSalle brand. Integration of business lines and teams, and the full rebranding of all business activities, will begin immediately.

Christian Ulbrich, Jones Lang LaSalle's European chief executive, said: "The obvious strategic and cultural fit between Jones Lang LaSalle and King Sturge makes this a logical and very attractive proposition for both firms. It gives us a scale and depth of expertise that will make our client service delivery capabilities second to none in both the UK and continental Europe."

Richard Batten, joint senior partner at King Sturge, said: "This is a coming together of two great companies who are culturally aligned, with fantastic business synergies, to create the best firm of property advisers in Europe. We truly believe that we will be better together. The ability to operate on a global platform, and the opportunities that this will provide, is great news for all our staff and clients."

Andrew Gould will serve as chief executive of the merged business in the UK. Richard Batten will assume the role of UK executive chairman.

The merged business operates in 30 countries employing 5,300 people providing integrated real estate services worldwide to investor, owner and occupier clients. The UK business will have 2,700 employees across 34 offices.

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Another prestigeous British brand bites the dust…I wonder when they are going to rebrand our country to the ‘United Kingdom of Foreign-Owned Corporations…?’ ‘Real Robots in a Homogenous World’

By Dick Dastardly

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