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Deals & Dealmakers

Aon acquires Colony NorthStar unit Townsend Group for $475M

Colony NorthStar has sold its advisory arm, The Townsend Group to Aon plc for $475 million.

The sale comes following the January mega-merger between Colony Capital and Northstar to form a $58 billion behemoth.

“The divestiture of Townsend is definitely bittersweet for Colony NorthStar,” said Richard B. Saltzman, president and CEO of Colony NorthStar, “but we’re extremely pleased that the talented Townsend team has found a great new home with Aon.

“Townsend is a terrific non-core legacy NorthStar business, but by the closing of the Colony Capital/NorthStar merger in January of this year, it became clear that the market perceived a conflict with Colony’s institutional investment management business. For these reasons, Colony NorthStar’s sale of Townsend to Aon is a winning outcome for all three organizations.ˮ

Net proceeds to affiliates of Colony NorthStar, for its ownership interest after transaction and other expenses is estimated to be approximately $379 million.

Terry Ahern, chief executive officer of Townsend, will continue to lead real estate and real asset investment services as part of Aon’s Global Retirement & Investment organization.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor for the transaction.


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