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TPG, PAG Look To Sell Off Remaining Ownership Stakes In Cushman & Wakefield

Two of the private equity firms that bought Cushman & Wakefield and made it one of the three biggest commercial real estate services firms in the world are planning to exit their investment.

The investment firms own a combined 11.6% of Cushman & Wakefield common stock.

Cushman & Wakefield disclosed in a Monday morning filing that private equity giant TPG and investment manager PAG Asia Capital are looking to sell their combined 26.5 million shares in the brokerage firm. 

The firms own a combined 11.6% of Cushman & Wakefield’s common stock, and a sale would be worth a combined $310M, based on the company's share price after markets closed Friday.

The proposed share sales announced Monday would entirely divest TPG and PAG from the brokerage firm. TPG has been shedding its shares at scale since at least last February, when it had owned 37.8 million shares, or 16.9% of the company's common stock.

TPG is offering its remaining 17 million shares, while PAG is looking to offload 9.4 million. The disclosure came in the form of an offering prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cushman & Wakefield won’t receive any of the proceeds, and J.P. Morgan Securities is the underwriter for the offering. 

TPG and PAG took over Cushman & Wakefield in May 2015 when DTZ, the UK-based real estate services firm the venture acquired in 2014, merged with C&W in a $2B deal. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan was also invested in the joint venture, but the pension fund is holding on to its shares in C&W.

The merger created a combined company with 250 offices in 50 countries. It went public three years later in August 2018, raising $765M at a valuation of around $3.1B.

Cushman & Wakefield has a $2.6B market capitalization, based on Friday’s closing price of $11.72. The stock is down around 38% from when it first went public, but it is up 7.6% year to date and has seen a 20% rally in the last month. Shares were down around 2% early Monday.  

Cushman & Wakefield and PAG didn’t respond to a request for comment Monday morning. TPG declined to comment. 

The brokerage lost $29M on $2.2B in revenue in the first quarter. It was a narrowing of losses compared to a year earlier and followed around $30M in cost-saving measures, including job cuts. 

Total revenue was down 3% from a year earlier at the end of March, as the firm’s earnings were dragged down by a lack of liquidity in the capital markets space, although it did see revenue from leasing services grow by $19M to $382M. 

While limited sales activity has weighed on all the major brokerages, Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark were the only firms to report first-quarter losses.