Avison Young Buys U.K. Real Estate Firm Wilkinson Williams

(Bloomberg) -- Avison Young Canada Inc. has bought London-based real estate services firm Wilkinson Williams LLP, its first deal since receiving a C$250 million ($190 million) investment by a big Canadian pension fund earlier this month.

Wilkinson Williams represents landlords and tenants across the U.K. and has acted as an adviser on retail and supermarket leases. Last year, the firm advised clients on investment transactions with a combined value of more than 580 million pounds ($761 million).

“This acquisition will ensure that we have a market-leading capability in the retail service line, providing us with intelligent insight and market knowledge on a national level,” Avison Young Chief Executive Officer Mark Rose said in a statement Wednesday. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

The move is another step by the Toronto-based commercial brokerage in its push to more than double its size and add C$1 billion of revenue to what is about C$650 million today, Rose said by phone. Rose said Avison Young will continue to focus on expanding in major European and North American markets, and growth in Asia later on.

In the past 10 years, Avison Young has grown to 84 offices in 75 markets spanning Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe. The company first entered the U.K. in 2014 after acquiring Haywards LLP. A newly opened office in London’s Mayfair area will be Avison Young’s fifth location in the U.K.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Avison Young planned to buy a European real estate firm after receiving a preferred-equity investment by Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager. With the purchase, 16 employees of Wilkinson Williams will join Avison Young.

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