JLL Buys Top Dallas Property Investment and Finance Firm in $2 Billion Deal

Commercial property company Jones Lang LaSalle is buying one of Dallas' largest real estate and finance firms in a $2 billion deal.Dallas' HFF is one of the country's biggest investment property brokers and real estate finance firms.It will become part of JLL in a cash and stock transaction expected to close in the third quarter of this year.HFF has handled some of North Texas' biggest real estate buys and since 1998 has closed more than $800 billion in property transactions.The company, which is based in Dallas' Victory Park, had revenue of more than $650 million last year."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," Christian Ulbrich, Global CEO of JLL, said in a statement. "I believe that combining our organizations will deliver a range of compelling benefits for our clients, employees and shareholders."HFF CEO Mark Gibson after the merger will become JLL's CEO of Capital Markets, Americas and Co-Chair of its Global Capital Markets Board."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," Gibson said in a statement. "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 officials said the HFF acquisition will allow the Chicago-based real estate firm to rapidly grow its U.S. capital markets presence and grow its debt advisory business in Europe and Asia Pacific.JLL is already one of the biggest commercial real estate players in North Texas. In 2008, it bought the operations of Dallas-based Staubach Co.With annual revenue of $16.3 billion, JLL operates in more than 80 countries with a worldwide workforce of more than 90,000.  Continue reading...

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