Colony NorthStar sells Townsend to Aon

Colony NorthStar Inc has sold The Townsend Group, a provider of investment management and advisory services focused on real estate and real assets, to Aon plc. The sale price was $475 million, with Colony NorthStar nabbing estimated net proceeds of about $379 million. Morgan Stanley was the financial adviser to Colony NorthStar on the deal.


LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Colony NorthStar, Inc. (“Colony NorthStar” or the “Company”) (NYSE: CLNS), a leading global real estate and investment management firm, announced today that is has closed its previously announced sale of The Townsend Group (“Townsend”) to Aon plc (NYSE: AON). Aon is a global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Colony NorthStar was the majority owner of Townsend, a leading provider of global investment management and advisory services primarily focused on real estate and real assets.

On September 1, 2017 Colony NorthStar announced the agreement to sell Townsend to Aon for $475 million. Net proceeds to affiliates of Colony NorthStar, Inc. for its ownership interest after transaction and other expenses is estimated to be approximately $379 million.

“The closing of the Townsend sale is a great outcome for Colony NorthStar and its shareholders as well as for the acquirer, Aon, and Townsend employees,” said Richard B. Saltzman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colony NorthStar. “Townsend’s market leading business is situated now in a synergistic home while we continue our path towards simplification and reinvesting proceeds from non-core liquidity events into our strategic priorities.”

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Colony NorthStar for the transaction.

About Colony NorthStar, Inc.

Colony NorthStar, Inc. (NYSE:CLNS) is a leading global real estate and investment management firm. The Company resulted from the January 2017 merger between Colony Capital, Inc., NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc. and NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. The Company has significant property holdings in the healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors, other equity and debt investments and an embedded institutional and retail investment management business. The Company currently has assets under management of $57 billion as of September 30, 2017 (which includes approximately $15 billion through its ownership of the Townsend Group) and manages capital on behalf of its stockholders, as well as institutional and retail investors in private funds, non-traded and traded real estate investment trusts and registered investment companies. The firm maintains principal offices in Los Angeles and New York, with more than 500 employees in offices located across 18 cities in ten countries. The Company will elect to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. For additional information regarding the Company and its management and business, please refer to