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BLOOMINGTON, MN-Welsh Cos. has decided to exit the Orlando, FL market, selling its operations there to Atlanta-based Carter & Associates. The brokerage and property management office in central Florida did not fit with the firm’s focus on the Midwest, says Jean Kane, executive vice president for Welsh.

The office has about 40 employees, including sales and property management personnel. The company had bought the Orlando operations in 1997 as part of the deal when it bought Columbus, OH-based Pizzuti Inc. Although Welsh wanted the Columbus business, it did not want the Orlando office. But Pizzuti would not sell its Columbus operationsseparately, she says.

“We wanted to be in Columbus, so we took the Orlando office, too,” Kane adds.

Carter already has operations in Orlando. Leases on both offices there are up this year, and Kane expects it will consolidate its operations into one of the locations.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Welsh posted about $125 million in revenue last year and manages about 22 million sf of space nationwide, Kane says. After the sale of the Orlando office, the firm now employs about 370 people, mostly in the Twin Cities, she adds. Welsh has offices in Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, and Columbus, OH. It has development activities in such metropolitan areas as Kansas City, Milwaukee and St.Louis.

In 1999, Dennis Doyle, the chief executive officer of Welsh, sold a large stake in his company to a Bahrain-based firm called Investcorp International Inc.

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