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CBRE Group Buys Geico Lender, Boosts Capabilities in Italy

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CBRE Group Inc. announced the acquisition of a building technical engineering services provider in Italy — Geico Lender S.p.A. The move comes as part of the company’s strategic efforts to expand its facilities management expertise in the region.

Geico Lender will work as part of the company’s Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) business in the country. Specialist technical services capabilities will be added to the integrated collection of services for occupier clients throughout the nation.

Geico Lender was founded in 1989. It operates from six locations across Italy, with staff strength of more than 300. Its services are focused on maintenance and installation of Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), together with building automation and other technological systems for financial institutions and other private sector companies.

Notably, CBRE Group has banked on strategic acquisitions to widen its geographic coverage, as well as expand and reinforce service offerings. In fact, the acquisition of Geico Lender will help CBRE Group capitalize on the rising trend of Italian corporations to outsource technical services.   

According to the company, the buyout complements the addition of both the Norland Managed Services business in the U.K. that CBRE Group acquired in December 2013, as well as the facilities management business of Johnson Controls Incorporated, which was bought in September 2015. These efforts will help enhance capabilities in continental Europe.

As a matter of fact, CBRE Group focuses on acquiring regional or specialty firms that complement its existing platform, as well as independent affiliates in which, at times, it holds small stakes. Furthermore, the company opts for larger, transformational deals driven by macro policies.

In fact, it has completed more than 110 acquisitions since 2003, including five large, strategic acquisitions. Specifically, CBRE Group closed nine acquisitions through October 2017 and maintains an active pipeline. As market conditions continue to improve, we believe these opportunistic acquisitions and strategic investments will serve as growth drivers, supplementing the company’s organic growth.

CBRE Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The stock has appreciated 40.4% in the year so far, outperforming 19.7% growth recorded by its industry. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.



Investors interested in the real estate industry can also consider other top-ranked stocks like FirstService Corporation (FSV - Free Report) , Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL - Free Report) — popularly known as JLL, and HFF, Inc. (HF - Free Report) . While FirstService Corporation and JLL sport a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), HFF carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

The 2017 Zacks Consensus Estimate for FirstService Corporation is pegged at $1.99 — indicating an increase of 1% in two months’ time.

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The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2017 earnings of HFF moved up 3.5% to $2.36 in two months’ time.

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