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JLL completes $1.8 billion acquisition of leading capital markets firm, HFF

JLL completes acquisition of leading capital Markets firm, HFF,ph01

Chicago-based JLL has closed its acquisition of HFF, Inc. With the deal complete, Mark Gibson, former CEO of HFF, joins JLL as CEO, capital markets, Americas and co-chair of its global capital markets board.

The purchase price for the acquisition was approximately $1.8 billion, consisting of a combination of cash and JLL stock. JLL funded the cash portion of the purchase price consideration with a combination of cash reserves and its existing syndicated credit facility. The combination is expected to deliver significant run-rate synergies, estimated at approximately $60 million over two to three years.

“The response from our clients, brokers and shareholders has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Gibson. “Joining JLL marks an exciting new chapter in our history. It provides our team a tremendous opportunity to join a full-service real estate firm with a global presence and a client-centric, collaborative culture that closely aligns with our own. We look forward to working together to grow JLL’s capital markets business and bring expanded services to our clients.”

HFF, regarded as one of the premier capital markets advisors in the industry, had more than $650 million in revenue in 2018 and approximately 1,050 employees with long-term client relationships, first-class skills and deep knowledge of U.S. as well as global markets. The addition of HFF enhances JLL’s capital markets services and provides a global team of more than 3,700 capital markets professionals across 47 countries.

“We are delighted to bring together JLL and HFF to create one of the most strategic, connected and creative capital advisors in the world,” said Christian Ulbrich, Global CEO of JLL. “By combining the impressive capabilities, talent and expertise that distinguish both organizations, we will deliver exciting new growth opportunities and ensure we are best positioned to achieve ambitions for our clients and all our stakeholders. We warmly welcome our new HFF colleagues to the JLL family.”

This acquisition was first announced and unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors in March 2019 and received approval from HFF’s shareholders earlier today. HFF is now wholly owned by JLL and certain of its subsidiaries and will do business as JLL. HFF’s common stock, which previously traded under the ticker symbol “HF,” has ceased trading and was delisted from the NYSE effective today.

JP Morgan served as exclusive financial advisor for JLL, and Sidley Austin LLP as legal counsel. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor for HFF, and Dechert LLP as legal counsel. While this acquisition aimed to bolster JLL’s capital markets business, JLL also recently improved its industrial practice with the acquisition of NelsonHill.