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LOS ANGELES-CB Richard Ellis’ $37.9 million cash acquisition of the London-based Dalgleish & Co. Ltd. retail real estate services specialist gives CBRE an immediate market-leading position in the UK and will enable the company to serve both European and off-shore clients as Europe’s retail universe grows, a top CB European exec tells GlobeSt.com. Mike Strong, president of CB Richard Ellis Europe, Middle East & Africa operations, explains that the Dalgleish acquisition brings CBRE’s retail capabilities in the UK to the same level as its other services there.

“We’ve already got a market leading position in offices and investments sales, and we’ve had a very strong retail offer, but this really puts the retail on a new level,” Strong says. The Dalgleish deal adds immediately to CBRE’s tenant rep capabilities and also positions the company to expand its presence in the UK and Europe, he adds. CBRE has named founder and principal shareholder Michael Dalgleish to lead the company’s retail services operations in Europe.

“Dalgleish has quite a strong tenant rep business, whereas our current business is more landlord related, so what we will wind up with is a very balanced business between landlords and tenants,” Strong tells GlobeSt.com. He says that the Dalgleish acquisition, reported Monday on GlobeSt.com, also “will be a good springboard to help support our European expansion program.”

Strong explains that CBRE already has retail operations in most of the major European markets, but “We have ambitions to grow them” and Dalgleish will help to achieve that growth. Some of the growth will come in mature markets, but a number of the retail markets in Europe are less mature and “are going through an evolutionary process” that will offer opportunities for new business for real estate services firms, Strong points out.

One of the areas in which Strong sees potential for expansion is in big-box development. The big box centers are “a reasonably mature market in the UK, but there is a lot of expansion to come in mainland Europe for that type of development,” Strong says. “We foresee a lot of big box development in most of the major European markets, and also in central and eastern Europe.”

In addition to serving UK and mainland European landlords and tenants, Strong says, CBRE’s acquisition of Dalgleish “will significantly strengthen our position to serve both off-shore investors and off-shore occupiers” that are coming into Europe. Retail logistics and distribution is one of the areas in which both European and offshore investors increasingly require services from firms like CBRE, Strong notes, and the Dalgleish acquisition will enhance CBRE’s capabilities there as well.

Strong expects that the CBRE and Dalgleish teams will be integrated into CBRE’s West End office building within a few weeks. Dalgleish, with 93 employees in central London and annual revenues of approximately $34 million, provides tenant representation, agency leasing and investment advisory services throughout the UK.

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