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Meta advises SIP Group on cross-border sale to Colliers International

Firm name(s)Meta Corporate Finance Ltd
Deal typeBusiness Sale
Industry sectorConstruction

Colliers International Group Inc (“Colliers”), a global leader in commercial real estate services, has acquired SIP Group (“SIP”), one of China’s leading construction project management consultancies from its shareholders, Geoff Mills and Suzie Coxhead.

SIP’s business will integrate its operations with Colliers’ existing business in the region, be rebranded as Colliers International and, together, the combined business will provide enhanced scale and capabilities for clients throughout all regions of China.

Geoff Mills, the founder of SIP and China Representative of the Institution of Civil Engineerswill remain in an advisory position.

Geoff and Suzie were advised in the sale by Peter Counsell of Meta Corporate Finance. Meta was mandated some 15 years prior to the transaction, to advise the shareholders on how to develop their business and prepare for an eventual exit.  In addition to advice on value, identification of prospective purchasers and deal structure, more long-term planning issues included advice on investment in the SIP team and on handling unsolicited acquisition approaches.

Generating an exit for the shareholders was but one of a series of core objectives for Meta and their clients.  Peter worked closely with Geoff and a coordinated professional team including his long-standing legal advisers, Clarkson Wright and Jakes (Andrew Wright and Arran Brooker) and accountant and tax advisers Creaseys (Alastair Dixon). 

It was important to establish a fit with the prospective acquirer in terms of culture, operations and client service.  In addition, the shareholders wished to find a group that would enhance SIP’s offering to a global client base and, crucially, would provide wider career opportunities for the SIP team.

“We are very excited to be part of Colliers International at this important time in our history,” said Geoff. “Our track record of completing complex projects for large blue-chip international firms looking to do business in China, combined with Colliers’ leading global platform and market-leading real estate services business in China, will enable us to offer existing and new clients expanded, world-class project management and consultancy services.”

Geoff added “It has been a pleasure to work with Peter.  Both Suzie and I have greatly valued his advice and experience across a very long period.  SIP has been built on the foundations of providing the very best client service and I found that Peter and his team’s approach thoroughly echoed our own attitude. The choice of adviser is crucial.  The support needed is not just for the final transaction management but also for the positioning of the business and the development of succession.  These are the foundations of a successful approach to the market.”

Peter Counsell said “I am absolutely delighted to have helped Geoff and Suzie with this transaction.  The deal has been many years in the making and will make for an interesting case study in how we have planned and executed a truly cross-border high quality project.  I wish the shareholders all the best and know that Colliers will be enhanced by SIP’s team and by Geoff’s continuing involvement”

Adviser(s)Meta Corporate Finance
Completion date8th March 2018
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