Knight Frank bucks market trends to acquire Irish FM company
PROPERTY consultancy Knight Frank Ireland (KFI) has acquired Dublin-based property, asset and facility management firm Most Commercial Management in a share swap deal in which no cash has changed hands and for which no valuation has been disclosed.
Most's turnover is expected to increase by more than 15pc this year to exceed €650,000. The firm's 11 staff will join KFI and operate as Knight Frank Management, which will bring the Irish group's employees to 42.
Most's managing director John Mockler and finance director Gerry Butler will join KFI's board. Its operations director Peter Moloney is chairman of the Irish Property & Facility Management Association.
The announcement coincides with the lodgement of KFI accounts, which show a €1.9m turnaround in its shareholders' funds. These went from a deficit of €1.3m in the year to April 2009 to a surplus of €617,356 in the year to April 2010.
In October 2009, KFI's four Irish directors, led by Paul McDowell, acquired the firm from its British parent less than three years after KFI's predecessor Ganly Walters, also lead by Mr McDowell, had sold the business to the UK-based KF Group in a €10m deal.
Founded in 2005, Most has been a preferred supplier for KFI on joint property service tenders, as well as acting for mutual clients. The company achieved a net after-tax profit of €20,049 in 2009 up from €2,000 the previous year.
KFI's two moves have gone against recent trends, firstly in acquiring its Irish business from an international firm and secondly in expanding by acquisition, thus creating consolidation within the industry at a time when property consultants have seen departing staff set up their own practices.
KFI's latest accounts show that while debtors have halved from €2.2m in 2009 to €1.04m in April 2010, its creditors have been slashed from €4.1m to €1.07m.
Mr McDowell said: "We recognised a need to add to our consultancy services in these times, when buildings are not going to show enhanced performance through increased rents and yield compression and when returns are going to have to be driven by skilled asset and property management. We expect this new dimension to gain us further business through leverage off Knight Frank's client base across the world."