Newmark Knight Frank Parent Firm Ready to Shop $615 Million IPO
Newmark Knight Frank Parent Firm Ready to Shop 5 Million IPO
Offering Would Value CRE Brokerage Industry’s Newest Publicly Traded Company at $3.3 Billion
Newmark Group, Inc., a commercial real estate and advisory firm that includes brokerage Newmark Knight Frank (NKF), has set terms for an initial public offering aimed at raising $615 million.
Newmark, backed by NKF parent firm BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP), announced this week it will launch its “road show,” a series of presentations to analysts, fund managers and other potential investors, in offering an initial 30 million shares of common stock priced at between $19 and $22 per share. The company’s estimated market valuation would be approximately $3.3 million at the midpoint of that range.
Investment banks underwriting the offering will also have the option of purchasing up to 4.5 million additional shares at the IPO price, excluding commission fees and underwriting discounts. Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Cantor Fitzgerald, PNC Capital Markets, Mizuho Securities, Capital One Securities and Keefe Bruyette Woods are the joint book runners on the offering.
Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s third-largest brokerage, is also widely expected to launch an IPO next year. Cushman has announced several recent executive leadership changes in moves that some market observers believe may be related to an impending offering, but the company has not publicly confirmed or acknowledged the speculation.
BGC Partners originally formed Newmark Group in November 2016 as NRE Delaware, Inc., a vehicle to operate and eventually spin off Newmark Knight Frank and other real estate assets. In late October, Newmark Group filed to raise $100 million through an IPO, an estimate solely to calculate the registration fee for the offering.
BGC Partners advised Newmark Group that it intends to dispose of all of the shares of the new public company’s common stock in a spin off following the standard “lock-up” period of roughly six months after the IPO is completed. The companies did not disclose an estimate of when the shares might begin trading.
In its latest amended prospectus this week, Newmark Group said it has more than 4,600 employees, including about 1,530 brokers and other revenue-generating producers, in more than 120 offices across 90 cities, with 30 other locations operated by U.S. licensees.
The company completed more than 16,000 U.S. transactions worth more the $50 billion and generated revenues of $1.5 billion in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, a 16% increase in revenue from the prior year period. In addition to NKF, Newmark Group will include mortgage firm Berkeley Point, acquired by BGC for $875 million in September.
“We intend to continue to aggressively and opportunistically expand into markets, including outside of North America, and products where we believe we can profitably execute our full service and integrated business model,” Newmark Group said in the prospectus.
Founded in the U.S. in 1929, Newmark has expanded its product offerings and service footprint through more than 35 acquisitions since 2011, when BGC Partners acquired U.S.-based Newmark Knight Frank. NKF, associated with London-based global property consultancy Knight Frank LLP. became Newmark Grubb Knight Frank after purchasing Grubb & Ellis Co. in a 2012 bankruptcy sale. The company dropped Grubb from its name earlier this year.
In related news this week, Cantor Fitzgerald LP, which is also the parent of NKF through BGC Partners, announced it would launch Rodin Income Trust, its second non-traded REIT, a mortgage trust that aims to raise $1.25 billion.