UPDATE 1-Jones Lang LaSalle buys S.African property firm

* Deal is LaSalle’s first foray into sub-Saharan Africa

* Financial details not disclosed
(Adds executive comments, details, background)

By Gugulakhe Lourie

JOHANNESBURG, March 31 (Reuters) – Jones Lang LaSalle
(JLL.N: Quote, Profile, Research), one of the world’s largest real estate services
companies, is buying a South African rival for an undisclosed
amount, its first step into the fast-growing continent.

The U.S. real estate group said on Thursday that the
acquisition of unlisted Bradford McCormack & Associates (BMA)
provided a springboard for further expansion in South Africa and
the region.

“The deal opens up accelerated business growth opportunities
for both firms across South Africa and its neighbouring
countries,” the company said in a statement.

BMA’s local clients include South Africa’s biggest bank,
ABSA (ABSJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research), global confectionery giant Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research), the
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSEJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research) and several government
departments.

Jones Lang LaSalle is the third major U.S.-based company in
recent months to have shown interest in sub-Saharan Africa’s
fast-growing markets.

Last week, Washington D.C.-based private equity group
Carlyle [CYL.UL] said it planned to open offices in Johannesburg
and Lagos and start investing in capital growth ventures and
buyouts in the region. [ID:nLDE72N05U]

U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is in the middle of
buying a controlling stake in South African retailer Massmart
(MSMJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research) for $2.3 billion, though it is having problems
convincing competition authorities. [ID:nLDE72R1OO]

Jones Lang LaSalle will compete in South Africa with
Growthpoint Properties (GRTJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research), the country’s largest listed
property firm, and Redefine Properties (RDFJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research).

Earlier this month, a survey by property consultant DTZ
(DTZ.L: Quote, Profile, Research) found the amount of new capital available for investment
in global real estate was $329 billion, up 17 percent from a
mid-2010 projection. [ID:nLDE728294]

Capital earmarked for direct investment in the Americas rose
14 percent to $111 billion, while in Europe, the Middle East and
Africa (EMEA) the pot was up just 2 percent to $114 billion.
(Reporting by Gugulakhe Lourie, Editing by Ed Cropley and Will
Waterman)

UPDATE 1-Jones Lang LaSalle buys S.African property firm