BNP Paribas to expand further into UK property business with merger | Business

The real estate arm of the banking giant BNP Paribas is to acquire a UK property services group in a deal that will triple its revenue and the number of staff it has in the country covering the business.

The deal to merge the UK subsidiary of BNP Paribas Real Estate with Strutt & Parker, founded in London in 1885, will be completed in September. It comes even after global banks have said they could move thousands of jobs out of Britain to prepare for Brexit.

Britain’s housing market has also slowed sharply since the UK voted in June 2016 to leave the EU, while in the past three years demand in the country’s commercial rental market has levelled off for the first time in almost five years.

Neither BNP Paribas Real Estate nor Strutt & Parker gave financial details of the acquisition. A BNP Paribas Real Estate spokeswoman said combined the two would have 1,500 staff, up from the UK unit’s 500.

Combined annual revenue would be £165m, she said. Strutt & Parker generated £107.7m in revenue in the year ending 30 April, 2016, down from £111.3m a year earlier.

“The expertise of Strutt & Parker, the second biggest player in the UK rural market and third in residential, will represent a new service offering for the UK subsidiary of BNP Paribas Real Estate, thereby enabling it to broaden its range of services,” BNP Paribas said.

Strutt & Parker has 60 offices across Britain and works with corporate and private clients. BNP Paribas Real Estate had 3,472 staff overall and €24bn in assets under management as of the end of 2016. In residential property, the property company mostly operates in France and is also expanding in Rome, Milan and London.

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