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Tricor-backed Avison Young to buy Colliers International South Florida

Avison Young Inc has agreed to acquire commercial real estate brokerage and property management company Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group LLC, which does business as Colliers International South Florida. The transaction’s financial details were not published. Avison said the deal, which is expected to close this year, will expand its business-line coverage in Florida. Based in Toronto, Avison is a commercial real estate services provider and a portfolio company of Canadian private equity firm Tricor Pacific Capital. In September, Tricor made a second investment in Avison, adding to the original $40 million it invested in 2011.


Avison Young agrees to acquire Miami-based Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, dba Colliers International South Florida

Purchase will further expand Avison Young’s business-line coverage throughout South Florida market; 70 members to join

TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW/ – Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Miami, Florida-based commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, LLC (doing business as Colliers International South Florida). Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close within 30 days.

The purchase will further expand Avison Young’s business-line coverage in South Florida and throughout the state. The change in ownership is expected to add 70 employees from Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group’s Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach offices to Avison Young’s operations in South Florida. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Upon closing of the transaction, Michael Fay and Donna Abood will become Principals of Avison Young and Managing Directors of Avison Young’s Miami office. They will focus on overseeing the growth and development of Avison Young’s presence in the Miami region, servicing new and existing clients, and managing the day-to-day operations of the office. They are both 30-year commercial real estate veterans and Chairs and founding partners of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group. John Crotty, Executive Vice-President of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, will also serve as a Principal of Avison Young.

As a result of the acquisition, Avison Young will assume a significant leasing and investment sales portfolio, bringing Avison Young’s total square feet of leasing and investment sales property under representation to 20 million square feet (msf) throughout Florida. In addition, Avison Young will assume Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group’s property management portfolio, bringing Avison Young’s total square feet of properties under management to 11 msf in Florida and more than 70 msf across Canada and the U.S.

“We look forward to welcoming Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group to Avison Young,” comments Rose. “This strategic acquisition will give Avison Young an even broader client-service platform in the Florida market as we continue to expand our capabilities throughout the U.S. and overseas.”

Rose continues: “Donna has a reputation as one of the most trusted and highly recognized names in South Florida real estate, and Michael is known as a business development rainmaker on a national level. Their company’s culture of collaboration, excellence and focus on strategy will merge well with Avison Young’s similar culture, and allow us to attract additional high-quality professionals throughout Florida and the U.S. Southeast. This team will be a tremendous addition to our company.”

Abood and Fay simultaneously began their respective firms in 1989. Before becoming Colliers International South Florida, the firm known as Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group was formed when two local, well-established firms – Abood & Associates, Inc. and Wood-Fay Realty Group, Inc. – merged. Abood & Associates, Inc. was a full-service real estate firm providing leasing, sales, property management and construction services in South Florida. Wood-Fay Realty Group, Inc. was a highly specialized commercial real estate brokerage firm providing commercial and investment property sales and advisory services for clients. The merger was a logical progression as the principals of the firms realized the synergies possible if the companies combined as one. In 2005, Abood Wood-Fay took the next step in its commitment to servicing clients by joining the Colliers International team and becoming Colliers Abood Wood-Fay. In 2010, the firm participated in a global rebranding and officially became Colliers International South Florida.

“Avison Young has had a focus on building our business throughout Florida for several years, and until now, we hadn’t found the right fit for us in the critically important Miami market,” states Earl Webb, Avison Young’s President, U.S. Operations. “The Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group team members, with their extensive base of experience, broad client relationships and excellent market presence, provide us with the perfect platform to add to our burgeoning Florida business. Donna, Michael and John will combine their experience with Pike Rowley and our other Florida principals to give our clients even more experienced resources to help with the complex execution of their real estate requirements and strategy.”

Avison Young opened its first Florida offices in October 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami with Rowley joining as a Principal and Managing Director. In May 2013, Avison Young acquired WG Compass Realty Cos. and opened a West Palm Beach office. In September 2013, Avison Young acquired Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors and opened a new office in Tampa.

“Avison Young has been seeking to expand in the Miami-Dade market in a big way since opening our first office in Florida 24 months ago,” notes Rowley. “We have been patient in wanting the best-of-class service providers in this region who are home-grown, take a leadership role, and are deeply rooted in the community. We have found just that team with Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group.”

He continues: “I have known and transacted business with Donna and Michael for more than 25 years and could not be more excited to team up with them as we grow Avison Young into one of the strongest service providers in the state. With the addition of this team, we will have a total of 170 dedicated professionals statewide and a strong presence in every major city in Florida. As a result, we will be able to better serve clients in the office, industrial, retail and multi-family sectors.”

Over the past five-and-a-half years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 60 offices and from 300 to more than 1,600 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young opening an office in Cleveland, Ohio on September 23, 2014 and the firm acquiring New Jersey-based asset management firm Kwartler Associates on September 18, 2014.


Donna Abood
During her 30-year career, Donna Abood has represented more than 50 msf of office space on behalf of local and institutional ownership groups. Additionally, she has completed hundreds of transactions on behalf of tenants. A leader and top performer in the Florida marketplace, she serves as a business resource to her clients while creating and implementing marketing plans.

Abood is currently Chair of the Beacon Council, Miami’s economic development organization. She also serves on the board of directors of the Real Estate Institute of Florida State University, and was recently inducted into the Florida State University College of Business Hall of Fame. In 2013, she received the Tom Richardson Award, the highest honour given by Colliers International, and was the recipient of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) 2013 Leadership Award. She has also been named one of Real Estate Forum’s National Women of Influence multiple times. Furthermore, Abood serves on the boards of Palmer Trinity School, Miracle Theater and Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. She graduated from Florida State University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and management.

Michael T. Fay
Michael Fay’s work with special servicers, automotive dealerships, clients with surplus land, and lenders as well as Fortune 500 corporate clients has earned him a reputation as one of the most well-connected brokers in South Florida and across the country. Over the course of his 30-year career, Fay has closed more than $4.2 billion in transactions. He was also named to the Top 100 Power Leaders in South Florida for 2014 by the South Florida Business Journal. In 2012, he was inducted into Colliers International’s Everest Club for ranking among the top 10% of all brokers in the U.S. He was also the recipient of the Colliers Global Referral Award in 2013 and the Colliers International Team Innovation Award in 2012 for his work with the Colliers Asset Resolution Team.

Fay is currently serving on the board of HistoryMiami and chairs the boards of both the Westminster Christian School Foundation and the McGlannan Foundation. He is a senior member of the Orange Bowl Committee and is currently serving on the advisory board for AvMed Health Plans. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business in three years from LaGrange College and is a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He is also a sponsored national and world-ranked wakeboarder/wakeskater.

John K. Crotty
Executive Vice-President of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, John Crotty has completed more than $1.25 billion in investment sales transactions during his career. A Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), he has represented some of South Florida’s top private and institutional clients, and his disciplined approach to investment sales and distressed-asset expertise have earned him a notable reputation. Crotty also played 11 seasons in the NBA, including one with the Miami Heat, and is currently a television studio analyst and radio broadcaster for the team.

Avison Young is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,600 real estate professionals in 60 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

For further information/comment/photos:
•Sherry Quan, Principal, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; mobile: 604.726.0959
•Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028
•Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young: 312.957.7610
•Pike Rowley, Principal & Managing Director, Florida, Avison Young: 954.903.1800

Avison Young was a winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and 2012 and requalified in 2013 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

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SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

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