DTZ receives unsolicited bids

Australian company UGL says it will evaluate unsolicited ‘third party’ interest in its global property services firm, DTZ. The news follows recent reports that private equity firms are eyeing the company.  

UGL, the parent company of global property services DTZ which has been linked with bids from private equity firms, confirmed today it had received unsolicited offers for the business.

In its half-yearly results, Australian engineering, construction and maintenance company UGL insisted it was still preparing to demerge DTZ and that good progress had been made establishing it as a standalone entity.

However, it also added: “The board, in recognition of its obligation to act in the best interests of shareholders, will evaluate unsolicited third party interest received in DTZ.”

Already, news wires and The Wall Street Journal have reported that private equity firms have expressed interest, though UGL chief executive Richard Leupen said today there were no plans to run a formal sales process. “We’re not putting a for-sale sign out the front,” he told reporters.
DTZ was acquired in 2011 by UGL in deal valued at an initial £77.5 million (€90.2 million; $121.3 million) when it was a London-listed public company.

It generates $2 billion of annual revenue and employs 45,000 people including contractors in 52 countries. It owns a UK investment and asset management platform with $7 billion under management and a team of 45 working on discretionary and non-discretionary mandates.

UGL said at the time that the purchase of DTZ would mean it was able to provide its clients with “a single corporate solutions provider” and that DTZ’s long-established presence in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific was a good geographical fit with its own business which was better established in Australia, New Zealand and North America.

In its last set of results, it announced DTZ grew revenues by 18 percent to $1 billion and profits to $58.4 million.