JLL to Acquire HFF in $2 Billion Deal

HFF capabilities will significantly bolster JLL’s full-service Capital Markets business. Combination will create an industry-leading Capital Markets platform.

Chicago and Dallas – Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE: JLL) and HFF, Inc. (NYSE: HF) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which JLL will acquire all the outstanding shares of HFF in a cash and stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $2 billion. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

HFF is one of the largest and most successful commercial real estate capital markets intermediaries in the U.S., marked by decades-long relationships with clients, a talented leadership team and best-in-class capital markets advisors. Since 1998, HFF has closed more than $800 billion in over 27,000 transactions, achieving record revenue in 2018 of more than $650 million. Mark Gibson, CEO of HFF, will join JLL as CEO, Capital Markets, Americas and Co-Chair of its Global Capital Markets Board.

Christian Ulbrich,
Global CEO of JLL (Photo Credit: JLL)

“Increasing the scale of our Capital Markets business is one of the key priorities in our Beyond strategic vision to drive long-term sustainable and profitable growth. The combination with HFF provides a unique opportunity to accelerate growth and establish JLL as a leading capital markets intermediary, with outstanding capabilities,” said Christian Ulbrich, Global CEO of JLL. “We have long admired HFF for its expertise and leading reputation in the industry, as well as its client-first culture of teamwork, ethics and excellence, which aligns with our own. I believe that combining our organizations will deliver a range of compelling benefits for our clients, employees and shareholders.”

“This is a terrific transaction for our shareholders, providing them with an immediate cash payment and the opportunity to participate in the long-term value of the combined company,” said Gibson. “In addition, we believe the combination with JLL will create a superior platform for our shareholders, clients and employees than either company would have independent of the other and will significantly accelerate our firm’s strategic plan. JLL’s team-oriented culture with the additional standards of high character and integrity are an excellent match with the HFF culture, which has been HFF’s fundamental differentiator since its inception.”

JLL intends to fund the cash portion of the purchase price consideration with a combination of cash reserves and its existing syndicated credit facility. The combination is expected to deliver significant run-rate synergies, estimated at approximately $60 million over two to three years.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to HFF shareholder approval and customary closing conditions, including regulatory review. The transaction is not contingent upon receipt of financing.

Through this combination, JLL will significantly bolster its full-service Capital Markets services to clients. The transaction will allow JLL to rapidly scale its U.S. Capital Markets presence, accelerate growth of its debt advisory business in Europe and Asia Pacific and drive increased operating efficiency globally.

The combination of JLL and HFF will create a platform that attracts, develops and retains the best talent in the industry. Additionally, the combination of the companies’ complementary investments in technology will further strengthen JLL’s digital capabilities, reinforcing its position as a digital leader with superior team connectivity, improved back-end processes and best-in-class client tools.

This acquisition is expected to create long-term strategic value for both JLL and HFF investors. It will be accretive to adjusted earnings per share in the first full financial year after completion and generate strong pro forma cash flow, allowing for consistent and timely deleveraging. 

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 90,000 as of December 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com

About HFF

Through its subsidiaries, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., HFF Real Estate Limited, HFF Securities L.P. and HFF Securities Limited, HFF operates out of 26 offices and is one of the leading and largest full-service commercial real estate financial intermediaries, providing commercial real estate and capital markets services to both the consumers and providers of capital in the commercial real estate sector. HFF offers clients a fully-integrated capital markets platform including debt placement, investment advisory, equity placement, funds marketing, M&A and corporate advisory, loan sales and commercial loan servicing.

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