March 20, 2019

Jones Lang offers $2B for rival HFF Inc.

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Jones Lang LaSalle occupies space at State House Square in downtown Hartford.

Chicago commercial real estate broker-advisor Jones Lang LaSalle, with offices in Hartford, will pay $2 billion to acquire smaller rival HFF Inc.

The cash-stock deal, announced Tuesday and set to close in the third quarter, would combine Dallas-based HFF, which had record 2018 revenue of $662 million, and JLL, which generated $16.3 billion in revenue last year.

JLL Global CEO Christian Ulbrich said the proposed merger will boost its ability to serve its capital markets clients, as well as to "rapidly scale'' its U.S. capital markets presence.

It also will hasten JLL's growth of its debt advisory business in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

HFF CEO Mark Gibson will join JLL as CEO of its Capital Markets, Americas unit and will co-chair its board.

JLL is one of Greater Hartford's biggest brokerages. In 2017, it recorded $114.5 million in local commercial office deal volume, according to Hartford Business Journal's Book of Lists. It has eight local licensed brokers.

JLL declined to comment Wednesday beyond its initial news release from Tuesday.

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