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NEW YORK CITY-While speakers at Cushman & Wakefield’s press conference Tuesday avoided comparing C&W to other real estate firms, they made it clear IFIL buying majority stake in the company from Rockefeller Group International was a way of combating the merger trend sweeping the industry. The $563 million all cash deal is expected to close by the end of January.

“Our new partnership with IFIL will preserve Cushman and Wakefield as the only firm of its kind that is unburdened by debt or by issues of operational integration. It ensures that we will continue our commitment to our culture which is absolutely fundamental,” C&W CEO Bruce Mosler said. He went on to say IFIL perceives the company’s value based on “Their long-term horizon for us to grow our biz and a rare opportunity to enhance our stature as the global firm of choice in a rapidly consolidating marketplace.”

Mosler declined to comment on how the transaction would pair C&W to CB Richard Ellis, but said, “”I think what it does is it puts us in a great position to continue what we have begun with RGI, which is creation of an alignment of interests between our employees and majority shareholder. It puts us in a position to take advantage of the opportunities in the market place in a meaningful way.”

The purchase of C&W was lauded by both sides as a strategic diversification move. IFIL, which is currently invested primarily in Italy, France and Switzerland, was looking to diversify it’s portfolio into other markets. C&W wants to grow its portfolio, especially in Asia and Europe. “With the help and support of RGI we have forged an agreement with a partner who is in complete alliance with Cushman & Wakefield’s global business strategy and goals,” said Mosler. With IFIL, “We will be particularly focused on expansion in Europe and Asia,” to achieve 50% of revenue from outside the US.

“Financial services in general and real estate related businesses specifically have been high on a list of preferred investments. At IFIL we also like investing in entrepreneurial management. We like strong brands supported by a clear strategic vision for the future. Cushman & Wakefield ticks all the boxes,” said John Elkann, vice chairman of IFIL. Elkann went on to say the purchase of C&W also fulfills the company’s goal of diversification, “This being a greater diversification of our assets by sector, by geography and by currency.”

Elkann said IFIL has a track record of supporting company management in growing their company and achieving their goals. C&W has hopes of expanding its reach in Europe and Asia in the near future. Mosler said C&W will open several additional offices in India this year and also hopes to open additional offices outside the three major cities in China.

The Agnelli family, which numbers IFIL among its holdings, owned 4% of the Rockefeller Group from July 1984 through the same month in 1991, according to Jonathan Green, CEO of Rockefeller Group International. The family also was a major contributor to the development of Rockefeller Center in Midtown.

Although much of the conference contained insinuations of C&W bucking the merger trend, Mosler said they are constantly accessing the different opportunities and that regional firms could find value in aligning with C&W.

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