Canadian giant swoops for property firm WHR

L-R Gareth Buckley, Mark Williams, Mike Rooney and Dan Crossley

Manchester-based WHR Property Consultants is to be acquired by Canadian group Avison Young.

The deal announced today will see 35 staff join the new enlarged company and a new office will also be launched in Manchester.

The agreement is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, but its expected to close within 30 days.

The Manchester office will be Avison Young’s fifth in the UK and the 11th in Europe and an additional step in the firm’s ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the last nine years it has grown from 11 offices to, following the WHR transaction, 81 offices, and from a headcount of 300 to more than 2,600 real estate professionals in Canada, the US, Mexico and Europe.

WHR is a multi-disciplinary commercial property consultancy firm with a wide range of offerings, including industrial and office agency, capital markets, property management, asset management, rating and professional services.

The firm was founded in 2004 by a group of Manchester-based property professionals.

The goals of the partnership were to provide high-quality integrated property consultancy to customers including institutions, property companies and high-net-worth individuals.

Mark Williams, Gareth Buckley, Mike Rooney and Dan Crossley will become principals of Avison Young. Williams also will become managing director of the new Manchester office and will play a leading role in the company’s strategic expansion in the North West region while managing the day-to-day operations of the office.

William saids: “While we are proud of WHR’s achievements and growth to date, we do recognise that the future growth of the business will require a stronger national and, importantly, international brand.

“When we were approached by Avison Young, we were impressed with how closely our companies’ philosophies aligned, and felt confident that our well-established regional presence would be enhanced by joining a larger firm with strong UK and international client bases.”

Mark E. Rose, chair and chief executive of Avison Young said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the WHR team to Avison Young and open a new office in Manchester, which will provide us with a centre of excellence in the dynamic North West marketplace and expand our footprint in the UK.”