(LONDON) – Hines, the international real estate firm, has agreed to acquire Helix, one of the UK’s leading specialist commercial property management companies, to signal the launch of its new customer-centric and experience focused management services and operations platform in Europe. The completion of the acquisition is subject to FCA approval.
Based in London, Helix has a dedicated team of 60 professionals providing the full spectrum of property management services, managing a UK-wide commercial real estate portfolio, spanning all asset classes, which is valued at over £3.5 billion.
The two companies already enjoy a close, long-standing relationship developed over the last 10 years, with Helix providing property management services across the majority of properties in the Hines UK portfolio including 20 Old Bailey, 7 Soho Square and Atlas House in London, alongside all of the Hines European Core Fund (HECF), Hines European Value Fund (HEVF) and Hines Global Income Trust (HGIT) assets. In addition, Helix manages other well-known assets such as The Ark, 6 Bevis Marks, and One Westferry Circus.
Operating from its offices in the West End of London, Helix will become part of the wider Hines business, continuing to service its wide-ranging high-quality client base, alongside Hines’ owned assets.
Led by Amy Soar, the Helix board and senior management team will remain in place, with Hines Director Ivan Harrison transferring to Helix to assume the role of UK Head of Operations, to facilitate the integration of the two companies. Helix’s owner Robin Fell, who founded the business 25 years ago and led its growth over that period, will be retiring from Helix upon completion of the deal
The acquisition represents a significant milestone for Hines in Europe as it develops its management services and operations offering, which is being led by Head of European Management Services and Operations and Senior Managing Director, Ronen Journo. Since joining the firm from WeWork a year ago, Ronen’s expertise on global workplace trends, technology and customer experience - developed across a career including Cisco spanning over 20 years - has been assimilated across Hines’ European multi-asset portfolio of office, industrial, residential, retail and mixed-use properties to establish this new platform.
Building on Hines’ wealth of experience, which has seen the firm managing properties in the US since its inception in 1957, the management services and operations platform will provide an enhanced user and customer experience focused on liberating occupiers from the inefficiencies of multiple service providers. Hines will offer a full end-to-end service spanning construction procurement, mechanical & technical engineering, facilities management, building maintenance, energy performance monitoring, asset and risk management. It means Hines now delivers a full lifecycle service capability to its clients to include sourcing, acquiring, funding, developing, disposing and now managing real estate assets, alongside its global investment management offering.
In addition to its UK growth plan with the acquisition of Helix and ongoing living operations platform including student accommodation brand, aparto, Hines is also delivering an ambitious growth strategy across its European network. Its French, German, Italian and Nordics teams are actively recruiting to secure top management services and operational talent to aid the platform’s organic growth across Europe. This compliments a strong offer already in The Netherlands, operating logistics assets, and growing student and build-to-rent operations in UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
Lars Huber, CEO for Europe at Hines, said: “This important acquisition represents the springboard for the launch of our Management Services and Operations platform across Europe. Delivering the very best workplace and living experience for our customers has always been our philosophy, but as a new age of technology-driven, well-being and ESG focused real estate dawns, we’re excited to be recalibrating and expanding our offering.”
Ronen Journo, European Head of Management Services and Operations at Hines, said: “Consolidating Hines’ long-standing relationships with partners and customers with a fresh people-centric, technology-enabled and ESG-driven approach to developing and managing living and workspace is the essence of the new platform. Our commitment to building on our market leadership position and enhancing our service offering is illustrated by this UK acquisition and the further growth we will deliver across our European network.”
Ross Blair, Senior Managing Director and Country Head of Hines UK, said: “Helix is a well-established, first-class property management firm, who we have gotten to know, trust and respect over many years working together. Coming together represents a logical evolution for both like-minded businesses, and there is a strong alignment with our service-orientated values, ethos and working cultures. We’re excited about what we can deliver for our clients.”
Amy Soar, CEO, Helix, said: “Becoming part of the Hines family, one of the biggest and most respected names in global real estate, represents a positive and exciting new chapter for our business. The move represents a great fit for Helix and our clients as we can offer a more holistic approach, with the opportunity to access a wider range of services, skills, knowledge and expertise from a global leader. We are looking forward to exciting and successful times ahead.”
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 255 cities in 27 countries. Hines oversees investment assets under management valued at approximately $83.6 billion¹. In addition, Hines provides third-party property-level services to more than 367 properties totaling 138.3 million square feet. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired approximately 1,486 properties, totaling over 492 million square feet. The firm has more than 171 developments currently underway around the world. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a foundational commitment to ESG, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.
Since entering Europe in 1991, Hines has grown its European platform to include offices in 16 cities as well as a presence in 62 cities in 13 countries. Hines oversees investment assets under management valued at approximately €21.7 billion and provides third-party property-level services totaling 3.9 million square meters in Europe, in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Visit www.hines.com for more information.
1. Includes both the global Hines organization as well as RIA AUM as of 30 June 2021.