CHICAGO-Jones Lang LaSalle, based here, is merging with Trammell Crow Meghraj, a real estate company in India. Each company had revenue of about $70 million before the merger, says Vincent Lottefier, Jones Lang LaSalle’s chief executive officer for India. The new entity will be called Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj and will have 44 million sf under management in India, Lottefier says. “This is the biggest merger Jones Lang LaSalle-Asia specific has ever done in its history,” he says. “Combined, we have approximately 50% of the international business market share across India.”

The two companies had different clients “but, at the same time, we were complementary,” Lottefier says. About 80% of Jones Lang LaSalle’s revenue from India “was derived from the international corporate businesses, whether it was business transactional or project management,” he says, and TCM “has a much more local client customer base.” Additionally, “they are the clear market leader in retail in India,” he adds. “If I had wanted to build my retail business to a similar level on my own, without merging, it would have taken me three years. And, I am not even sure I would have got there.”

All employees of TCM will be retained. “There are absolutely no cost savings,” Lottefier says. “This merger is all about growth.” Anuj Puri, who had been the managing director for TCM, will serve as chairman and country head for Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj. Lottefier, who had been JLL’s country head for India, will now be the chief executive officer for India. Gagan Singh, with JLL, and Santhosh Kumar, who was previously with TCM, were both named deputy chief executive officers.

Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj plans to have revenue in excess of $100 million by 2009. The company will have offices in 10 cities in India and plans to increase the number to 15 by 2009 in addition to increasing the number of staff by 35% from their current number of 2,800, Lottefier says. JLL had had 1,800 employees for the India operations and TCM had approximately 1,000 employees before the merger, Lottefier tells

TCM had been a partnership between Trammell Crow Co., private financial services company Meghraj Group and real estate investment company Sundown Group. Trammell Crow Co. purchased a 30% interest in the company in 2005 and merged with CB Richard Ellis earlier this year. TCM had considered merging with JLL, CB Richard Ellis or UK-based real estate advisor Savills, Lottefier confirmed. “Meghraj had the option to either merge naturally with CBRE…, merge with an international service provider who is not yet in India or double their size and merge with the biggest service provider in India already, but with a very complimentary business model, and that is what they chose,” he says.

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