CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. strengthens industrial capability in the UK with purchase of M3

L-R: Andrew Meikle, Nick Waddington, Richard Meering and Martin Guest

CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) today announced the acquisition of M3 Agency LLP (M3), a leading industrial and logistics real estate services specialist in the United Kingdom (UK). The acquisition of M3 represents a significant step in the development of CBRE’s industrial services offering in the UK and across Europe.

M3 is regarded as the leading industrial real estate advisory specialist in the UK, with offices in London, Birmingham and Sheffield. M3 advises global clients on the investment, funding, occupancy, leasing and development of industrial properties.

A five-man team from M3’s Birmingham office in Temple Row will be joining CBRE at Cornwall Court, Cornwall Street, with immediate effect. M3 office head Richard Meering will head up CBRE’s industrial agency team; his colleague Nick Waddington joins as a senior director.

M3 is highly rated in the Midlands’ industrial property market. The Birmingham office scooped three industry awards last year: West Midlands 2009 Insider Property Awards’ “Industrial Agent of the Year”; Property Week’s Midlands Property Awards’ “Industrial Agent of the Year”; and Insider’s “Property Deal of the Year”, alongside Advantage West Midlands and Goodman International, for bringing forward Jaguar’s Browns Lane site in Coventry for redevelopment.

The M3 Birmingham office’s Midlands’ client roster reads like a who’s who of industrial property developers and funds, and includes Gazeley UK Ltd, Goodman International, A&J Mucklow Group, Standard Life Investments, Sladen Estates and Highcross.

At the same time, Andrew Meikle, Head of CBRE’s industrial and development team, will focus on investment, to include industrial and offices, working alongside Justin Marshall, CBRE’s Head of Capital Markets in Birmingham.

Martin Guest, Managing Director, CB Richard Ellis, Birmingham, said: “CBRE is already a market leader in office agency and investment in Birmingham. The acquisition of M3 underlines our ambition to become the major player in the industrial agency sector in this region too, adding critical mass to our existing team.

“The acquisition also means we will have, for the first time, a dedicated industrial specialist in our investment team.

“The Midlands is at the heart of the country’s manufacturing and distribution sector. As we move out of recession we expect the sector’s fortunes to improve and CBRE is now primed to capitalise on this.”

Martin Samworth, Managing Director, CBRE UK, said: “The acquisition of M3 builds on our leading position in the UK industrial agency and investment real estate services markets, and enables us to offer clients unparalleled insight into the sector. We continually seek opportunities to strengthen our presence in key service areas, so when the opportunity arose to acquire M3 we saw it as a very complementary fit for our UK business. The M3 team are respected specialists in the industrial market and we are looking forward to having them join CBRE.”

M3 was founded in 2000 by ex-Gerald Eve agents Richard Moffitt and Simon Milner. The 20-person M3 team will be fully integrated into CB Richard Ellis, and adopt the CBRE brand.

Richard Moffitt, Managing Partner, M3, said: “We are thrilled to be joining CB Richard Ellis. The company’s global platform, formidable client base and strength across all property sectors will bring new opportunities for us and allow us to further develop and grow our industrial business. To be part of the number one property advisory firm in the world will bring enormous benefits to our clients.”

The UK has been a dominant market in the industrial investment sector recently, accounting for more than half of the total industrial investment turnover in Europe in 2009. More specifically, the revival in European industrial and logistics investment in the latter part of 2009 was very heavily concentrated in the UK, accounting for 54 per cent of European industrial transactions in the second half of the year. In an environment where investors are particularly focussed on quality and length of income as well as market depth, the UK continues to be particularly attractive.

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