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Deals & Dealmakers

Columbia Property Trust acquires Normandy

Columbia Property Trust announced it will acquire Normandy Real Estate Management for around $100 million.

Founded in 2002, Normandy is led by partners Finn Wentworth, David Welsh, and Jeff Gronning. The company has acquired or developed over 30 million square feet of office space across New York, New Jersey, Boston and Washington, D.C., including dozens of major headquarters facilities for leading companies.

NELSON MILLS

The firm has also completed many repositioning projects, and current projects in Manhattan include the Terminal Warehouse, a 1.2–million‑square‑foot, brick-and-beam property in the West Chelsea Historic District, and 888 Broadway, a 237,000 s/f redevelopment in the Flatiron District.

In addition, Columbia and Normandy have previously announced joint venture partnerships on 799 Broadway, a 182,000 s/f ground-up development project near Union Square Park, and the redevelopment of 250 Church Street in TriBeCa.

Columbia will acquire Normandy’s operating platform and its general partner interests in three active management funds in a cash and stock transaction with a total value of $100 million, exclusive of transaction and closing costs.

“Expanding our platform – both our capabilities and presence in our key markets – is highly supportive of Columbia’s long-term growth objectives. Combining the Columbia and Normandy teams enhances our mutual talent, resources and relationships, and strengthens our position as a leader in our target markets,” said Nelson Mills, president and chief executive officer of Columbia.

“Beyond Normandy’s proven sourcing, development and management capabilities, we’ve had the opportunity to experience their positive culture first hand through our joint projects in Manhattan,” continued Mills.

“By joining forces, we will be able to provide fully integrated construction, development, leasing and property management services, as well as a complementary fund management platform to augment our core portfolio operations. All of this should greatly benefit our shareholders and our respective tenants, employees, and partners.”

Following the acquistion, Finn Wentworth is expected to join Columbia’s Board of Directors. David Welsh will serve as chairman of the Investment Committee for Normandy’s Funds III and IV, in which Columbia will acquire general partner interests.

Jeff Gronning is slated to become Chief Investment Officer for Columbia, while fellow Normandy partners Gavin Evans and Paul Teti will also join Columbia’s senior leadership team.

“The strategic combination of Columbia and Normandy will form a stronger company with an exceptional gateway market portfolio, a world-class team and a robust pipeline,” said Wentworth.

“We have tremendous respect for Columbia’s strategy and leadership team, and, after launching two projects with them this past year, we’ve seen how well their culture and business model align with ours. We believe that combining our development expertise and deep relationships in New York, Boston and D.C. with Columbia’s platform will create a formidable force in these markets. The combined company will be positioned to expand on our extensive records of success and deliver superior results for all stakeholders.”

The acquisition further strengthens Columbia’s sourcing, construction, and other key capabilities and adds a full development arm, while also creating a complementary fund management program to drive additional revenues.

Normandy’s deep bench of fund and joint venture relationships will also enhance Columbia’s existing access to capital sources.

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