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JLL to buy HFF in $2 billion deal

Real estate investment company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has announced the acquisition of HFF for about $2 billion in a mammoth move within the commercial real estate sector.

JLLThe cash-and-stock transaction will marry two of the nation’s largest real estate finance companies, with Dallas-based HFF to be absorbed under JLL’s Chicago-based umbrella. JLL will acquire all outstanding shares of HFF and, upon close, will own about 87 percent of the combined company.

Mark Gibson, CEO of HFF, will join the combined company with a title of CEO, Capital Markets, Americas and co-chair of the company's global capital markets board.

HFF posted revenues of more than $650 million last year. Since 1998, the company has closed more than $800 billion in property transactions. JLL, already a giant in multifamily and commercial real estate, has an annual revenue of $16.3 billion.

HFF’s strength within capital markets was a draw for JLL, which had previously announced a goal of doubling its capital-markets business.

“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.”

JLL is no stranger to acquiring large companies — the acquisition of HFF is the third such move for JLL this decade. 


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