Washington-based agency Cassidy Turley will give the firm a bigger US presence

DTZ is embarking on a huge expansion of its US operations after its new owners agreed this week to acquire Washington-based agency Cassidy Turley.

DTZ already has more than 10,000 employees in the US, but combining with Cassidy Turley will increase the scale of the operation. Cassidy Turley has 4,000 employees working out of 60 offices.

John Forrester (pictured), chief executive of the EMEA region for DTZ, told Property Week Cassidy Turley had been in the company’s sights for some time.

“For a long time our strategy – as signalled to all our staff – has been to take a leading role in the consolidation of the industry,” said Forrester. “We have a great business in Europe and North America but needed to gain a bigger presence in the US to signify that we were a global player.”

Forrester said the senior team at DTZ began looking at Cassidy Turley long before TPG, PAG and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan agreed in June to acquire DTZ from Australian engineering company UGL. He said the deal, which will result in Cassidy Turley being rebranded as DTZ, gave a clear signal about the new owners’ intentions.

“Some may have thought this new private equity structure would look to strip out cost. This signals the exact opposite – it shows that they back our strategy to become a true global leader.”

The deal is the latest in a number of acquisitions in the global real estate advisory sector, such as Savills’ acquisition of New York-based Studley earlier this year for $260m. Consolidation is being driven by the fact that corporate occupiers are run on an increasingly international basis.

“Companies want to work with just one supplier in the real estate market and that means you need to be good everywhere,” said Forrester. Having a strong global presence also ensures that when property is sold it is seen by all buyers across the world, he added.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year after the completion of the DTZ sale, which is due at the end of October.