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Jones Lang LaSalle Acquires Broker King Sturge for $324 Million

May 27 (Bloomberg) -- Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the world’s second-largest publicly traded real estate broker, bought the London-based firm King Sturge LLP for 197 million pounds ($324 million) to become the largest property adviser in the U.K.

Jones Lang will pay King Sturge’s partners 98 million pounds on the completion of the purchase, with the balance paid over five years, the Chicago-based company said today in a statement.

Jones Lang has expanded its global presence to 60 countries by acquiring 30 smaller brokerages since 2005. The purchase of King Sturge, the biggest adviser for industrial and logistics real estate in the U.K., bolsters Jones Lang’s efforts to increase the share of revenue it gets from Europe. The continent accounted for 25 percent of income last year, the company said.

“The obvious strategic and cultural fit” of the two companies “makes this a logical and very attractive proposition for both firms,” Christian Ulbrich, Jones Lang’s chief executive officer for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said in the statement.

Jones Lang sold shares in an initial public offering in 1997, making it easier to raise money in the stock and debt markets to finance its expansion. King Sturge’s partnership structure made it harder to expand.

King Sturge employs 4,200 people in 45 countries, according to its website. The firm handled 3.3 billion pounds of commercial real estate transactions in the U.K. last year, the fifth-highest by value, according to Stafford-based Property Data. Jones Lang handled the second highest, according to the research company, so the two companies combined will overtake CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. as the U.K.’s No. 1 broker.

Large brokers aim to expand as global real estate transactions recover amid an increase in lending, rising prices and banks selling properties that back delinquent loans.

CB Richard Ellis Inc. in February acquired ING Groep NV’s global real estate investment arm for about $940 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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