GVA’s new owner outlines plans to build global brand

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Avison Young CEO reveals firm stalked GVA for two and a half years before sealing takeover deal this month.

The highly ambitious Rose initially missed out on his target when Swedish private equity giant EQT snapped up Bilfinger’s building and facilities division, which included GVA, for just shy of £900m, in 2016.

“We were an original bidder before EQT bought GVA,” reveals Rose. But he wasn’t deterred by the company’s failure. Far from it. “We’ve pretty much been talking to EQT ever since,” he says, adding that the talks “really got going” this summer.

As Property Week revealed last month, Avison Young was in a two-horse race for GVA with Cushman & Wakefield. At that time, a spokeswoman for GVA told this magazine that the group would be sold for between £250m and £270m.

Last week, Rose finally snared his prey. The price Avison Young stumped up for the firm it had stalked for so long remains subject to a confidentiality agreement, but it is understood EQT failed to achieve the target price, securing around £210m from the Canadian predators.

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