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Studley to be acquired by British firm

In a move that could result in a significantly larger presence in San Diego County, the New York-based commercial real estate firm Studley Corp. has agreed to be acquired by London-based Savills plc for the equivalent of $260 million.

Michael Labelle, Studley San Diego branch manager, said while he only has six brokers and three support staff at present, he hopes to double that figure within the next year on the strength of its new parent company that will be known as Savills Studley.

While Savills may not be known in San Diego, it is a global firm with 500 offices and some 25,000 employees -- giving Studley enormous access around the world.

"We're going to be uniquely positioned to grow," said Labelle, "and we're only going to get more competitive."

Labelle said what he is most proud of at Studley's boutique-sized offices in Del Mar Heights is its ability to land large leases, such as nearly 1 million square feet of medical office space for Sharp Healthcare around the county, 80,000 square feet for the DLA Piper law firm in downtown San Diego, 55,000 square feet for the Sheppard Mullin law firm in Del Mar Heights, and about 55,000 square feet for the law firm of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo.

"We have also landed a lot of biotech firms such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals," Labelle said. "I am proud of our ability compete with offices 10 times our size."

Studley Chairman and CEO Mitchell S. Steir will continue as Chairman and CEO of Savills Studley and Studley President Michael Colacino will remain in that same position at the merged company. Steir and Colacino will share a seat on the Savills Group executive board.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build on our strong position in the market and benefit from being part of one of the leading global brands in the industry,” Steir said. “We are delighted that we will have a stronger platform to continue our growth with a partner that shares our commitment to exceptional client service. Studley and our clients will benefit from being part of an international firm with the ability to capitalize on cross border opportunities in Europe and Asia.”

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