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COLUMBUS, OH-CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. had acquired its top competitor here in a deal that grows its revenue and staff by about half and gives it dominate market share in both property management and listings. The acquired company is Columbus Commercial Realty. The seller was Minneapolis-based Welshco LLC.

CBRE’s senior managing director in Columbus Rob Click tells GlobeSt.com that the deal adds 45 people (16 brokers) to CBRE’s existing staff of 80 (31 brokers). Assuming all the brokers stick around and continue to perform, the deal also will boost the company’s revenue by about 50%, he says. “We were number one in most business lines and they were number two,” he says.

Moreover, Click says the deal boosts its property management portfolio by more than half to 14.7 million sf and gives CBRE a 25% market share of lease listings (225 buildings) and a 20% share (5.3 million sf) of for-sale listings in the market. Better yet, Click expects to improve on the totals.

“We have found that when we reach this kind of critical mass–as we have in Chicago, Washington, DC and Atlanta–it actually encourages even more business,” Click says.

As part of the merger, Click’s equivalent at Columbua Commercial, Mike Young, will join CBRE as a managing director. He will be focused on business- and broker development, says Click. Columbus Commercial’s No. 2 guy, Norm Bertke, will join CBRE as a managing director of asset services.

To accomodate the additional staff, which will be consolidated at CBRE’s existing location at 280 N. High St., CBRE is expanding its leasehold from 16,500 sf to 22,500 sf. The building owner is Nationside Insurance.

As for broker retention, Click declined to comment specifically on what has been done to ensure retention of the top performers at Columbia Commercial. However, he did acknowledge that a few key Columbia Commercial brokers were brought into the circle last week before the merger was announced to the rest of the staff and that some brokers were paid a consideration to offset any temporary dip in revenue related to the merger. “Any incentives to stay would be comensation that I can’t talk about,” he says.

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