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[IMGCAP(1)]NEW YORK CITY-As GlobeSt.com discussed a rumored GVA Williams-Colliers deal in early July, and after the recent $630 million Jones Lang LaSalle and Staubach Co. union, the wave of mergers among real estate service firms is clearly continuing. Colliers Turley Martin Tucker formerly revealed that it, along with Colliers Pinkard and Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers are consolidating ownership structures into one holding company. Following the closing of this transaction, the new holding company will expand to include locally based Colliers ABR, and industry sources say that it puts Colliers ABR in quite a good position.

[IMGCAP(2)]When anonymous industry sources were previously interviewed in the July story about Colliers International–which the four companies are members of–and GVA Williams, they said that Colliers ABR would be the main question mark in a potential merger deal. “GVA Williams does export a lot of corporate business, that is not Colliers ABR’s motivation,” one source said. “The way Colliers International works is that ABR is a franchisee and there is no ownership link, so it would stand on its own in New York.”

Industry sources now tell GlobeSt.com that with this recent merger news, the question is nearly answered. The true motivation is most likely that this merger cements ABR’s position within Colliers International, one source says.

Another source notes that there is now less risk for Colliers ABR to be isolated because it will now be part of the parent company. This merger makes sure that ABR is not marginalized when a GVA Williams-Colliers deal comes to fruition, the source says, which GlobeSt.com is told should be “near the end of the month.”

[IMGCAP(3)]The industry sources’ assessments were largely confirmed by Mark Boisi, chairman of Colliers ABR, in an interview with GlobeSt.com. “We think we will benefit from the capital markets resources and talent base that Cassidy & Pinkard has in Washington, DC,” he says. “We’ll bring that expertise to New York and build on our existing relationships and theirs.”

Boisi notes that in DC, Cassidy & Pinkard is “as formidable as some of our New York brethren like Eastdil” are in this market. “We’re in the middle of negotiating with two groups within the New York marketplace to embolden our efforts in capital markets investment sales financing. With their relationships and their know-how, we’ll be able to grow that business line pretty dramatically in New York.”

He says Colliers Turley Martin Tucker’s expertise in the corporate services arena “will very much enhance our ability to do more corporate service here in New York City. That’s one-stop shopping for major corporations, where you can provide a bundle of services for transaction management, project management and facilities management.” He adds that tenant representation, which ABR wants to do more of, is also expected to grow. As for what Colliers ABR brings to the group, Boisi says, “We bring them the New York marketplace.”

For the time being, the four companies will be run “pretty much locally,” but they will be “rolled up into one governing body, and we’ll all have a say on it,” Boisi says. He adds that the consolidation will “help us leverage our reach within Colliers International, the umbrella organization.”

According to a Colliers release, the combined company “will have a significantly strengthened ability to leverage the global power and reach of Colliers International. The combination of the four firms “consolidates their diverse strengths across a full spectrum of services including a property management portfolio of 288 million sf and a leasing portfolio of approximately 210 million sf.”

“…By uniting the best-of-the-best, we significantly enhance our competitive advantage moving forward,” says Mark Burkhart, president & CEO of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, in a prepared statement. Although Colliers sources did not return GlobeSt.com queries about the rumored GVA merger in July, when Colliers Turley Martin Tucker sources were asked about the how this merger news is connected to that potential deal, a source said that “they do not discuss speculation.”

Under the new structure, “we will accelerate the growth of our businesses, while maintaining our deep local roots,” says Walter Pinkard Jr., chairman & CEO of Colliers Pinkard, in a prepared statement. “Each firm brings unique expertise to the combined company. Sharing these resources allows us all to offer a more diversified platform to our customers, bolstering our ability to provide service excellence.”

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