CB Richard Ellis has approached industrial specialist M3 about a possible takeover of the company.

The move is thought to be one of a number of options CBRE is exploring in a bid to boost its UK industrial team following the departure of key industrial agents – Keith Dowley, David Turner, Simon Blake and Simon Holley.

There is no deal on the table yet with M3 and any negotiations are only at a very early stage.

M3 was founded by ex-Gerald Eve agents Richard Moffitt and Simon Milner in 2000 when it was known as M2. It became M3 when Steve Moriarty joined in 2002. However, Moriarty, who specialises in the leasing market, left M3 last year part of a cost saving plan instigated at the firm to cut overheads. He is still retained as a consultant on certain key projects.

In October last year M3 investment partner John Page also left to join Mayfair-based investment and asset management company Deerbrook Group.

A potential takeover of M3 is one of a number of options that CBRE is looking at to boost its team and it is also looking at organically growing the team again through individual recruitment of senior figures in the industrial agency world.

All parties declined to comment.