CB Richard Ellis Group

THE SCOOP

Rising up the ranks

CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE) holds the honor of being the world's largest commercial real estate services company.  Its offerings include brokerage services, corporate services, consulting, project management, market research, mortgage banking and asset management and advisory services.  With the acquisition of Insignia Financial in 2003, CBRE became the world's largest commercial property manager.  CBRE's three geographic segments are the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific.  It has some 450 offices and employs approximately 30,000 individuals.

Public/Private tango

Colbert Coldwell and Albert Tucker started real estate brokerage Tucker, Lynch, & Coldwell in 1906 in San Francisco.  In 1962, it was incorporated as Coldwell Banker which went public in 1968.  Sears, Roebuck & Co. bought the company in 1981 for 80 percent above its market price.  However, by 1991, Sears sold Coldwell Banker's commercial operations to The Carlyle Group as CB Commercial Real Estate Services Group.  In 1998, the company acquired REI Limited, the non-U.K. operations of Richard Ellis; it was renamed CB Richard Ellis Services.

The company was taken private in 2001 by a group of investors led by Richard Blum (now CBRE's chairman) and Ray Wirta.  Blum Capital Partners bought the 60 percent of publicly traded CBRE that it did not already own.  In 2003, CBRE merged with top commercial real estate broker and property manager Insignia Financial.  The next year the company changed its name to CB Richard Ellis Group and went public once again.  In February 2004, CBRE filed for a $150 million initial public stock offering.  Richard Blum maintains a nearly 15-percent stake in CBRE through Blum Capital Partners.

Growth through acquisitions

CB Richard Ellis has used acquisitions as a key method for growth in recent years.  In 2006, the company acquired The Polacheck Company, a commercial real estate services firm in Wisconsin, for approximately $20 million; Holley Blake, an industrial real estate services specialist in the United Kingdom, for approximately $22 million in cash; the remaining outstanding shares (49 percent) in CB Richard Ellis Noble Gibbons, one of Russia's leading real estate services firms, from ACP's investors and other shareholders; and its rival, Trammell Crow Company, for $2.2 billion in cash.  The deal increased the company's total number of employees to approximately 24,000, and the firm now counts approximately 85 percent of the Fortune 100 among its clients.  The combined companies also control approximately 10 percent of the commercial real estate business.

Worldwide numbers

Full-year revenue for the firm in 2008 declined, coming in at $5.1 billion, down from $6.03 billion in 2007.  Net income was down as well, decreasing to $83.9 million from $390.5 million the previous year.  The first half of 2009 looked less as well.  The firm's revenue for the second quarter of 2009 came in at $955.7 million, down from $1.31 billion in 2008.  Net income for the second quarter fell to $6.6 million from $16.6 million in the previous year.  Considerably, lessened sales activity and continued bad news for credit markets due to the global financial crisis were to blame for the disappointing numbers.

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CB Richard Ellis Group


11150 Santa Monica Boulevard
Suite 1600
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 405-8900
www.cbre.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: CBG
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • President & CEO: Brett White
  • 2008 Employees: 30,000

Major Office Locations

  • Los Angeles, CA

Key Financials

  • 2008 Revenue: $5,129 million

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