CB Richard Ellis Agrees to Group’s $750-Million Buyout

From Bloomberg News

CB Richard Ellis Services Inc., the largest U.S. commercial property broker, agreed to be bought by an investor group led by Blum Capital Partners for about $750 million in cash and assumed debt.

That’s $10 million higher than the buyer’s November offer of $15.50 a share. The group will pay $16 a share, CB Richard Ellis said in a statement Saturday. About $400 million in debt will be refinanced, the company said.

The price, while 15% more than Friday’s close, is below CB Richard Ellis’ 1996 public offering price of $20. CB Richard Ellis will become closely held, meaning its shares won’t trade publicly. The Los Angeles-based company manages about 422 million square feet in North America and 600 million square feet worldwide and had $1.2 billion in 1999 revenue.

No job cuts are expected, the firm said. CB Richard Ellis operates about 250 offices and has 10,000 employees. Its services include selling and leasing property, mortgage banking and investment management.

The company expects to complete the sale late in the second quarter. The acquiring investors, operating as Blum Capital Group, will finance part of the purchase with debt. They have commitments from Credit Suisse First Boston and DLJ Investment Funding Inc. for $400 million of senior debt and $75 million of mezzanine debt, CB Richard Ellis said.


Blum Capital Group’s partners already own 38% of CB Richard Ellis. It includes CB Richard Ellis Chief Executive Raymond Wirta; Brett White, chairman of the Americas for the company; private investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co.; and Koll Holding Co., run by Don Koll, a CB Richard Ellis director.

Shares of CB Richard Ellis closed at $13.90, down 30 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.