The British investment company Permira takes over the majority of the Hamburg real estate agent Engel & Völkers. In the deal, the Völkers family and part of the management will retain nearly 40 percent of the shares, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday. He wanted to implement his “vision for the digitalization of the brand” with Permira, specifies Christian Völkers. The founder of the company becomes chairman of the advisory board. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. In financial circles, it has been said that the valuation of the company is almost 700 million euros, the majority stake of Permira would then be worth a good 400 million euros.
The brokerage company was founded in 1977 by Dirk Engel. Völkers, at the time a close friend of Engel, joined the still manageable company shortly afterwards. After Engels’ suicide in 1986, Völkers renamed the company Engel & Völkers and began to grow massively, also with the help of a franchise model. Today there are over 800 locations in over 30 countries under the name Engel & Völkers with around 11,000 employees. “High net worth clients are our specialty,” says Völkers. This year, sales with brokerage fees of over one billion euros are expected, said CEO Sven Odia.
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CEO Christian Völkers: His company has 11,000 employees in 30 countries.
(Photo: Christian Schoppe / Engel & Völkers)
Permira manages around 44 billion euros for its investors in 17 funds. The private equity firm takes over the majority of companies and changes the business strategy in them so that they can sell the investments later at a profit, ideally. Engel & Vökers wants to digitize the business with the help of Permira and drive growth through the platform. During its expansion, the brokerage firm focuses on foreign markets such as Great Britain. Until now it was mainly represented in classic holiday regions like Spain.
The international real estate market continues to thrive despite the corona pandemic. Prices are rising, especially in big cities and exclusive vacation spots. Low interest rates make financing easier. But many millionaires and billionaires don’t need a loan, they have the money for expensive property on hand in their account. Thanks to the strong brand, Engel & Völkers has “access to exclusive and high-quality sales mandates and has thus been able to establish a leading position in the market,” said Permira. In the context of digitization, among other things, the offer for real estate consultants should be improved and the technologicalization of internal processes in marketing, acquisition of mandates and recruitment of real estate consultants advanced.