Québec’s Caisse invests C$250m in Avison Young

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has invested C$250m (€162.2m) in Avison Young to enable the commercial real estate services firm to buy back its shares from a current private equity partner and accelerate its growth plan.

CDPQ, an investor that manages C$298.5bn funds primarily from public and parapublic pension plans, has made the preferred equity investment in Avison Young. 

As part of the investment, Avison Young said CDPQ will be entitled to designate three members of Avison Young’s nine-member Board of Directors. The full terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

Avison Young said it will use the proceeds to invest in acquisitions and the recruitment of key professionals, fuelling the company’s ongoing growth of its global footprint and service-line capabilities.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be used to repurchase the shares held by the firm’s current private equity partner, Parallel49 Equity, as well as shares of certain other non-management founders and former Principals of Avison Young. As a result, the principals of Avison Young will own 100% of the common shares of the company.

Mark Rose, the chair and CEO of Avison Young, said: “We look forward to a collaborative relationship with CDPQ and its large global network, and benefitting from the ability to share expertise, deal flow, market intelligence and resources as we continue to grow our business across the spectrum of commercial real estate services in North America and other key markets globally.

“We are gratified by CDPQ’s support of our growth strategy, which we launched from a base of 11 offices in Canada and expanded to 84 offices across North America and Europe in just under 10 years – and growing revenue more than 15 times during that period.”

Stéphane Etroy, an executive vice-president and head of private equity at CDPQ, said: “Avison Young’s track record and experienced team speak for themselves: through a well defined and executed business strategy, the company has grown considerably in recent years, particularly by entering international markets with strong potential.”

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