Jones Lang LaSalle, TCM to merge

Leading integrated global real estate services and money management firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc and Trammell Crow Meghraj (TCM), one of the largest privately held real estate services companies in India, have reached an agreement to combine their operations. The merged entity, Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj, will be the largest real estate services firm in India.

Explaining the deal, chairman and country head of the merged entity and former TCM managing director Anuj Puri said: "The Meghraj group, a UK-based private financial services company, had the option to buy back Trammell Crow's 30 per cent stake. This option has been exercised after which the former Trammell Crow Meghraj merged with Jones Lang Lasalle." Puri, however, refused to reveal the valuations at which the merger took place.

Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj, which is expected to earn a revenue of $70 million or Rs 300 crore in the current calendar year, has more than 40 million sq ft of space under management. The total market share of the merged entity is about 35 per cent. It will have its head office in Delhi.

Said Vincent Lottefier, earlier country head of Jones Lang Lasalle's India operations who will become CEO of the new entity: "The merged entity has a staff strength of 2,800 employees and 10 offices. By 2009, we aim to achieve a turnover of $100 million. The staff strength will by then grow by 35 per cent and we will be in 15 cities."

Puri assured that that there would be no job cuts.

Terming the deal a merger of equals, he said: "Both the entities had an almost equal turnover and profit margins prior to the merger. So both will bring an equal amount of business and profitability."

The new business areas that the merged entity will target for growth include a full service hotel division, corporate capital markets, debts and derivatives, asset management and specialist mall management.

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