Colony NorthStar Inc. (NYSE: CLNS), a global real estate and investment management firm and sponsor of non-traded alternative investment products, has closed its previously announced sale of The Townsend Group to Aon plc (NYSE: AON).
Colony NorthStar sold the company for $475 million. Net proceeds to affiliates of Colony NorthStar Inc. for its ownership interest after transaction and other expenses is estimated to be approximately $379 million.
Aon is a global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Colony NorthStar was the majority owner of Townsend, a provider of global investment management and advisory services primarily focused on real estate and real assets.
Townsend has assets under advisory totaling approximately $175.7 billion and assets under management totaling approximately $14.5 billion. NorthStar Asset Management acquired an 84 percent interest in Townsend for $380 million in October 2015.
“The closing of the Townsend sale is a great outcome for Colony NorthStar and its shareholders as well as for the acquirer, Aon, and Townsend employees,” said Richard Saltzman, president and chief executive officer of Colony NorthStar. “Townsend’s market leading business is situated now in a synergistic home while we continue our path towards simplification and reinvesting proceeds from non-core liquidity events into our strategic priorities.”
Colony NorthStar resulted from the merger between Colony Capital Inc., NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc., and NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. The company currently had assets under management of $57 billion as of September 30, 2017 and manages capital on behalf of its stockholders, as well as institutional and retail investors in private funds, non-traded and traded real estate investment trusts, and registered investment companies. The company also owns captive broker-dealer NorthStar Securities LLC.