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Cushman & Wakefield-Newmark Merger Rumors Push Stock Prices Up

Newmark CEO Barry Gosin at the January 2020 REBNY banquet.

Unsubstantiated rumors of a merger between two of the world’s biggest brokerage firms are already having a small impact in the public markets.

The New York Post published a story Monday that cited two anonymous sources discussing a potential merger of Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark. Cushman & Wakefield shares rose more than a percentage point Monday morning after the story published, per Seeking Alpha. Newmark's share price had a short burst in the morning, but by Monday afternoon was down more than 1% on the day. 

The Post reported on the whispers from last week’s Real Estate Board of New York gala event.

“I think that cratered a long time ago,” an unnamed person told the Post of the deal. Another said, however, that “it did fall apart but now it’s on again.”

Cushman & Wakefield is also rumored to be leasing 220K SF at Brookfield’s 660 Fifth Ave., with the deal not allowed to be made public until the future of the merger is clear, the Post reported. C&W denied the deal existed, but a Brookfield person said there were discussions in the works, but no deal inked.

Newmark didn't respond to Bisnow’s request for comment, and Cushman & Wakefield declined to comment. Industry sources told Bisnow they had heard nothing about an imminent deal or discussions, which have been in the rumor mill for years.

Bloomberg reported in October 2020 that Newmark had rejected a takeover bid from Cushman. At the same time, commercial real estate insiders across the country told Bisnow they were hearing talk about C&W and JLL having discussions on a potential merger.

Megamergers aren't uncommon in the commercial brokerage space. In 2015, Cushman & Wakefield merged with DTZ after the latter had purchased Cassidy Turley, and in 2019 JLL acquired HFF in a $2B deal.