DTZ takeover doubts surface, ING REIM takeover ‘on track’

The takeover of property services firm DTZ, which has a property investment management arm, is said to be in doubt as both chief executive Paul Idzik and chief operating officer Robert Rickert resign. Meanwhile, the takeover of ING REIM by CBRE is said to be ‘on track’.

DTZ, the British property services firm, has been rocked by the resignations of both its chief executive and chief operating officer amid suggestions the pair are disgruntled over the lack of progress on a takeover of the company.

Several reports this morning say Paul Idzik and Robert Rickert handed in their notices amid disappointment that the DTZ board had not secured an intervention from the UK Takeover Panel requiring Saint George Participations (SGP), the French family-owned property company, to ‘put up or shut up’ over its potential bid.

It is almost three months since reports that DTZ and 55 percent shareholder, SGP, were in takeover talks. SPG became a majority shareholder in DTZ in 2008, after the firm executed an emergency fundraise to meet its various financial obligations.

In a statement today, DTZ said: “Paul Idzik believes it is appropriate for a new leadership team to be put in place and has decided to leave the company at this time.

The firm added: “As stated in its announcements of 11 May and subsequently on 20 June, the company has received a number of approaches for investment in its shares. Whilst there can be no certainty that these approaches will lead to a transaction, the board continues to review these and discussions are progressing. A further announcement regarding these approaches will be made, as appropriate, in due course.”

While property services advice is DTZ’s core business, the firm, like rivals Richard Ellis and Jones Lang LaSalle, also runs a real estate investment management business, DTZ Investment Management. The idea was for SGP to immediately sell DTZ to BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Suggestions that the takeover of DTZ are stalling come in contrast to the largest corporate takeover currently involving property investment management. According to Matt Khourie, global president of CBRE Investors, the takeover of ING Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) in Europe and Asia is on track.

In an emailed statement, Khourie said the firm had completed its acquisition of ING Clarion Real Estate Securities, which has been renamed CBRE Clarion Securities, and that it was on track to complete the acquisition later this year of ING REIM’s operations in Europe and Asia, including the ING Select Fund of Funds business.

Khourie said: “I am pleased with how smoothly the closing of the securities business went and look forward to the same success with the second part of the merger later this year, as well as full integration by early 2012. Both the CBRE Investors and ING REIM businesses have had some excellent business wins since we announced our acquisition.”

Khourie added: “We are making great progress in all aspects of the merger and subsequent integration. Over the past several weeks, we have had productive discussions with clients about the merger, including fund investor meetings in Europe and Asia, and clients have responded favorably as we finalize the consent process. Furthermore, we are well underway with preparations to meet the IT, financial systems and other operational requirements of the combined company.”