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Cassidy Turley sale a game changer for market

Cassidy Turley’s acquisition by DTZ Investment Holdings creates one of the world’s largest global commercial real estate services firms and generates a giant new competitor locally.

Where CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle were once in a league by themselves, DTZ’s acquisition gives the firm, which is strongest in Europe and East Asia, a larger foothold in U.S. local markets. It could also make what’s currently Cassidy Turley more competitive in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.

“Even though they had 60 offices in the U.S. they didn’t quite achieve the scale of  Jones Lang or a CBRE … this, I think, gives them the kind of scale and heft they need to really play in the very top leagues,” said Chuck Schilke, director and senior lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business.

Cassidy Turley announced Monday it has agreed to become an affiliate of DTZ Investment Holdings. A consortium including private equity firm TPG, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is expected to close a deal to purchase DTZ on Oct. 31. The acquisition is expected to be complete on Dec. 31, according to a statement on Cassidy Turley’s website.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“Following a period of intensive mutual due diligence, we are confident that this combination is an excellent cultural fit as well as an opportunity to partner with a global brand,” Joseph Stettinius, Jr., Cassidy Turley chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Washington-based Cassidy Turley will assume the DTZ brand and will create a company with $2.9 billion in revenues with 28,200 employees. The company said the sale creates only “minimal overlap in leadership, infrastructure and market coverage in the U.S.”

Schilke said he believes that it would benefit DTZ to keep Cassidy Turley’s current leadership team, in particularly Stettinius. He described the CEO as someone who is excellent at building organizations and cares a lot about the people he works with.

“Joe Stettinius is a top real estate leader, and if what they’re doing is combining him with the global reach of DTZ then I think they really have something,” Schilke said.

Cassidy Turley has offices across the country and has strong ties to the Baltimore area. Its predecessor in Baltimore, Colliers Pinkard, was one of the four original partner firms that consolidated and formed the company in 2008. The company’s local client list includes Under Armour, Johns Hopkins and Legg Mason.

It has been involved in recent high-profile local deals, such as arranging $32 million in financing for The Can Co. Building’s owner. Cassidy Turley recently represented the landlord in The Sun’s leasing of a 14,000-square-foot of warehouse in Carroll County for newspaper distribution.

The company was also selected to handle the leasing of the Hollins Ferry Logistics Center, a 285,000-square-foot industrial distribution facility set to break ground later this year, as well as the $575,000 of a Baltimore warehouse to True Essence, a manufacturer, importer and distributor of perfume.

“We’ve always had a great relationship with Cassidy Turley’s brokers in our region, and we appreciate the business they have brought us over the years,” said Al Cunniff, director of marketing for St. John Properties. “We congratulate them on this acquisition, which creates an impressive global brand.”


About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.