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Cushman & Wakefield to rivals: Weʼre watching you

Cushman & Wakefield has its eyes and ears on its competitors as the global real estate services company reportedly mulls an IPO.

“When we’re looking at our organization and where we have a mix of revenue, we’re looking at JLL and we’re looking at CBRE,ˮ said C&W’s president of the New York Tri-State Region, Ron Lo Russo during a candid Q&A at the NAIOP New Jersey chapter meeting last week.

RON LO RUSSO
RON LO RUSSO

“We’re looking at where their service line mix is, what the street is actually advising them from an evaluation perspective, and where their organization stands, because they have their quarterly calls and they have their earnings,” he continued. “We’re listening to that.”

Lo Russo’s candid commentary underscored the likelihood of the company going public following its merger with DTZ last month.

Cushman and DTZ officially completed their merger last month after the former was purchased by the latter for $2 billion.

With the dust still settling from that union, Lo Russo said that any changes that may come to Cushman’s stable of revenue streams will likely not be made overnight.

“Any company going public is naturally comparing itself to its peers that are already public for valuation purposes, service line mix and revenue mix to get the valuation that they get.

“Does that mean tomorrow we’re going to shift the demographic of what we look like? No. We don’t have to either.

“But does it mean that we want to add certain services and certain service lines and bulk them up to get to a point that makes it more attractive (for) going public? Probably.”

Analysts predicting a public offering from Cushman have noted that, besides integrating Cushman and DTZ, the company must reduce debt, improve margins and build revenue.

An IPO is considered the exit plan of the investment group that spent more than $3.5 billion in the past 12 months to buy Cushman, Chicago-based DTZ and Washington, D.C.-based Cassidy Turley.  The group includes private-equity firm TPG, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

10.7 Gibbons, Cornforth, Gottleib, Lo Russo, Medina (left to right)
L-R at the NAIOP event: Dave Gibbons, Jay Cornforth,Rich Gottleib, Ron Lo Russo and Gil Medina

Lo Russo was speaking at the NAIOP event in Jersey with panelists Jay Cornforth of Brookfield Property Partners, and Rich Gottlieb of Keystone Property Group.

Together, the group fielded questions raised by moderators, Gil Medina of CBRE and Dave Gibbons of Elberon Development Group.

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