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Cushman planning to file for IPO in June: sources

Brett White, 1290 Sixth Avenue and Chicago office at 225 West Wacker Drive (Credit: Wikipedia Commons and 225 West Wacker)

Cushman & Wakefield is gearing up to file for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sometime in June, sources told The Real Deal.

The global commercial brokerage has seriously considered going public for at least the past two years. The firm’s top executives, including chairman and CEO Brett White, reportedly held informal negotiations with banks last year and, in March, interviewed advisers to help prepare for it.

The prospectus filing usually precedes the IPO launch by a couple of months. Sources said brokers at Cushman have been told the IPO is slated for the third quarter. The proposed size of the IPO is unclear.

A spokesperson for Cushman declined to comment on the possibility of an IPO.

DTZ, a European brokerage backed by private-equity giant TPG, acquired Cushman for $2 billion in 2015 from the Agnelli family. According to Cushman, the company generates $6 billion in annual revenue and has 45,000 employees across 70 countries.

The IPO would arrive on the heels of fellow commercial brokerage Newmark Knight Frank’s $615 million offering, which saw lukewarm results in December. Newmark’s stock price hit a high of $16.66 in late January. But as of Wednesday afternoon it was trading at $13.73, slightly below its opening price of $13.95 in mid-December.

That firm is also working to ramp up its New York presence, having recently poached Eastdil Secured’s hotels team and agreed to acquire Robert Futterman’s retail-centric brokerage RKF.

Cushman, meanwhile, significantly ramped up its investment-sales operation in New York with a flurry of trophy deals brokered by the team led by Doug Harmon and Adam Spies. At same time, the firm lost some key players from its team of Massey Knakal Realty Services alumni — James Nelson, who is growing a team at Avison Young, and former mayoral candidate Paul Massey, who is building his own brokerage.

Eddie Small contributed reporting.

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