CB Richard Ellis Achieves Number One Position in Italy with Acquisition of Espansione Commerciale

CB Richard Ellis Group has announced the acquisition of Espansione Commerciale (“Espansione”), the market leader in shopping centre leasing and property management in Italy. The acquisition extends CB Richard Ellis’ international retail services capability and makes the Company the number one commercial property services provider in Italy, which is the fourth largest commercial property market in Europe.

Espansione was founded in 1986 by managing director, Mario Taccini. The company manages approximately 50 shopping centres across Italy and dominates the country’s shopping centre leasing and property management services sector with a 15% market share. Espansione has offices in Modena, Milan and Rome with approximately 110 employees, including 50 shopping centre managers.

The acquisition increases CBRE’s critical mass in Italy and adds valuable retail and property management expertise to its existing strength in valuation and investment services. Mike Strong, Chairman of CB Richard Ellis, EMEA, said: “This acquisition benefits our business at every level. It gives us the leadership position in a European market that is of strategic importance to our clients, ensures that our Italian business has a balanced mix of advisory and professional services offerings, and represents another vital step in our strategy to build the premier retail services capability across Europe.”

CBRE’s EMEA retail capability has grown significantly over the past three years, benefiting from both organic growth and several acquisitions. The Espansione acquisition is particularly important because it coincides with continuing high levels of cross-border institutional investor interest in Italian retail property. More than 25% of property transactions undertaken in Italy during 2007 involved retail property, with shopping centres comprising two-thirds of that activity. The growth in Italian shopping centres has been the highest in Europe over the past three years, with a current pipeline of 26.9 million sq. ft. under development.

Alessandro Mazzanti, President of CB Richard Ellis, Italy, said: “Both companies’ clients will benefit enormously from our combined expertise and new market leadership position. Espansione’s retail expertise is particularly advantageous at a time of increased interest and activity in Italy’s retail property market. Despite the more challenging financial environment, high quality assets such as shopping centres are expected to hold their value and continue to attract strong cross-border investor interest.”

Mario Taccini, Managing Director at Espansione, commented: “Integration with the world’s largest commercial real estate services provider makes perfect sense for the future expansion of our business. Both companies share a similar passion for client service and this attitude, combined with CB Richard Ellis’ global platform, will enable us to work together to continue to grow our retail position both in Italy and internationally. Our cultures are extremely complementary and we look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”

Press Release
Press Release