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Canadian pension fund pumps $250M into Avison Young expansion

Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, announced Monday that Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, has made a $250 million preferred equity investment to accelerate Avison Young’s strategic growth plan.

Avison Young will use the proceeds to invest in acquisitions and the recruitment of key professionals, fueling the company’s ongoing growth of its global footprint and service-line
capabilities. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be used to repurchase the shares held by the firm’s current private equity partner, Parallel49 Equity (formerly known as Tricor Pacific Capital Inc.), as well as shares of certain other non-management founders and former Principals of Avison Young. Terms of the transaction, were not disclosed.


With $298.5 billion in net assets, CDPQ’s global portfolio of investments spans  various markets and sectors, including private equity, real estate and infrastructure.

“We look forward to a collaborative relationship with CDPQ and its large global network, and benefiting from the ability to share expertise, deal flow, market intelligence and resources as we continue to grow our business across the spectrum of commercial real estate services in North America and other key markets globally,” commented Rose. “We are gratified by CDPQ’s support of our growth strategy, which we launched from a base of 11 offices in Canada and expanded to 84 offices across North America and Europe in just under 10 years – and growing revenue more than 15 times during that period. CDPQ’s investment will provide additional momentum as we accelerate our innovative and technology-based  capabilities and market presence to serve clients facing today’s rapidly changing real estate  environment.”

Rose said that the transaction structure preserves Avison Young’s  position as a private, Principal-managed and led organization. As a result of the deal, the Principals of Avison Young will once again own 100 percent of the common shares of the company.

“Our Principal-led, collaborative culture is one of our critical success factors, and this transaction maintains the alignment of interests created by a company owned and managed by its top talent,” said Rose.

Avison Young also announced that CDPQ will be entitled to designate three members of Avison Young’s nine-member Board of Directors.

Credit Suisse acted as Avison Young’s financial advisor in the transaction and DLA Piper LLP (US) and Stikeman Elliott LLP served as Avison Young’s legal advisors.

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