Retail Property - Consolidation for agency industry

Two big names form the commercial agency industry are set to disappear after a wave of mergers and acquisitions among property consultants.

CB Hillier Parker, a dominant force in shopping centre development, investment and leasing, will merge with Insignia Richard Ellis following the US$415 million (£259 million) takeover of Insignia by CB Richard Ellis, the US parent of CBHP.

The move will see the reunification of the Richard Ellis brand worldwide, which was split after the UK partners sold out to Insignia while their international counterparts sold out to CB.

And in another merger Fitzhardinge, the AIM-listed parent of Colliers CRE, has bought London-based Gooch Webster for£8.1 million and Edinburgh-based Fisher Wilson for£2.5 million.

Gooch Webster's biggest retail client is Sainsbury's, while Fisher Wilson acts for MFI, Peacocks, Big Food Group, Safeway and Currys.

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