PHILADELPHIA-Grosvenor, a London-based international property group with $15.6 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2005, has acquired locally based Legg Mason Real Estate Services. The price is undisclosed.

“I can’t reveal the price. Grosvenor is a private company,” Doug Callantine, former president of the local firm, tells GlobeSt.com. He is now president of the company, which has been renamed Grosvenor Investment Management US.

As of today, Legg Mason Real Estate Services’ ties to Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc. are severed, and it becomes, “another hub” in Grosvenor’s North American network with a goal of expanding its fund management presence in the US. The North American network operates offices in San Francisco, Washington, DC and Vancouver, British Columbia. Its current North American portfolio consists of more than six million sf of office, retail, industrial and residential properties.

The Legg Mason Real Estate Services buy contributes assets of more than $2 billion. With the change in ownership, Callantine tells GlobeSt.com, “there will be new investment management products.” Among them are “a residential land acquisition of properties all over the US and the launch, later this year, of a fund to acquire core office buildings in urban areas across the US.”

The sale, he says, “puts us on a platform to grow our business among existing and new clients, who will benefit from co-investment opportunities and Grosvenor’s research capabilities. Many clients have begun to focus on investing internationally, and we’ll be better able to service the needs of these investors. Management and the approximately 32 people here and about five in our King of Prussia office will remain.” Callantine says the firm may be adding staff within the next 12 to 18 months.

Stuart Beevor, Grosvenor fund management director, says in a statement, “This acquisition fulfills an important goal to expand Grosvenor’s investment management activities into the US.” It “will provide Grosvenor’s co-investors and our existing funds enhanced access to the US real estate market and open up new investment opportunities. We will also gain greater exposure to the US institutional investment community.”

Grosvenor is owned by the Grosvenor family and headed by the sixth Duke of Westminster. It has operating companies in Britain and Ireland, Continental Europe, and the Australia/Asian Pacific regions in addition to the Americas.

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