JLL to buy HFF in $2 billion transaction

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and HFF Inc. entered into a definitive agreement under which JLL will acquire all the outstanding shares of HFF in a cash and stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $2 billion. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

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HFF is one of the largest commercial real estate capital markets intermediaries in the United States. Since 1998, HFF has closed more than $800 billion in over 27,000 transactions, achieving record revenue in 2018 of more than $650 million. Mark Gibson, CEO of HFF, will join JLL as CEO, Capital Markets, Americas and co-chair of its Global Capital Markets board.

“Increasing the scale of our capital markets business is one of the key priorities in our Beyond strategic vision to drive long-term sustainable and profitable growth. The combination with HFF provides a unique opportunity to accelerate growth and establish JLL as a leading capital markets intermediary with outstanding capabilities,” said Christian Ulbrich, global CEO of JLL.

“We have long admired HFF for its expertise and leading reputation in the industry, as well as its client-first culture of teamwork, ethics and excellence, which aligns with our own. I believe that combining our organizations will deliver a range of compelling benefits for our clients, employees and shareholders.”

“This is a terrific transaction for our shareholders, providing them with an immediate cash payment and the opportunity to participate in the long-term value of the combined company,” said Gibson. “In addition, we believe the combination with JLL will create a superior platform for our shareholders, clients and employees than either company would have independent of the other and will significantly accelerate our firm’s strategic plan. JLL’s team-oriented culture with the additional standards of high character and integrity are an excellent match with the HFF culture, which has been HFF’s fundamental differentiator since its inception.”

Featured in CREJ’s April 3-16, 2019, issue

Edited by the Colorado Real Estate Journal staff.