GLOBAL - Australian property services firm UGL has acquired DTZ for £77.5m (€90m).

In an RNS released to the market today, the ASX-listed firm cited among the reasons for the 100% debt-funded acquisition the boost to its existing Asian operations, citing DTZ's leading market position in China and exposure to regional growth markets including India and Singapore.

UGL said the DTZ acquisition combined with continued investment in China and the broader Asian business would solidify its leading market position - although the expanded business will be run from Los Angeles by Robert Shibuya, a former DTZ regional chief operating officer now at UGL.

UGL chief executive Richard Leupen said the deal would "transform" his company's operations in Asia.

DTZ also brings a Top 5 position in the UK market and mainland European operations, compared with UGL's stronger North American presence.

The UK and Ireland accounted for 38% of DTZ's revenues in 2011, and the Asia-Pacific region 31%.

The Australian company had been seeking acquisition opportunities that would enable it to globalise a property services business targeting increasingly global clients. 

The acquisition will give the now vertically integrated company forecast annual revenues of AUD5.1bn (€3.8bn).

UGL's integration model allows for a 100-day transition period ahead of full integration.

Although the acquisition announcement had been expected, up to now it had been unclear what UGL planned to do with DTZ's AUM €7.6bn investment management business following negotiations after DTZ was put on the market in October. 

In a presentation to investors today, the firm said it planned to expand the asset management business into Asia and the Americas.