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Are We About to See Major Mergers/Acquisitions Among CRE Brokerage Firms?

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Last night, Grubb & Ellis announced it hired a financial advisor in JPM Securities to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company, Bloomberg reports. According to company chairman Michael Kojaian, Grubb & Ellis received some unsolicited offers and given its less than stellar stock performance in recent months, decided to look into the possibilities.

The move begs the question of whether we might see more merger/acquisition activity among CRE firms going forward. Over the course of 2009 and 2010, most brokerage companies struggled as investment sales and leasing transactions plunged. Recently, however, some finally started to show profits and hiring new talent. Or in any case, exchanging existing professionals on both the investment sales and leasing fronts.

Does this mean conditions might be ripe for healthier firms to go after weaker players? It will be interesting to see how the story plays out over the coming months, especially as investment sales activity and leasing are expected to pick up.

Back in 2007, Grubb & Ellis was only one of a number of brokerage firms to try to grow its market share through M&A deals.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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