Pfizer launches global hunt for agents

By James Buckley - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 15:00

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US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer has launched a search for an agent to advise it across its global property portfolio of nearly 80m sq ft.

Pfizer is retendering a three year transaction management contract, currently held by Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE, in the latest in a string of multi-million pound contracts to be put up for grabs by large corporate in recent months.

It is the first worldwide shakeup of Pfizer’s real estate suppliers since CBRE secured a consultancy brief in 2009 to carry out a review of its global property integration strategy following Pfizer’s $68bn takeover of Wyeth.

Immediately after the deal, CBRE worked with Pfizer on how to cut costs across its portfolio, which, as a result of the Wyeth acquisition, totals nearly 80m sq ft of mixed leased and freehold offices, laboratories and manufacturing plants globally. Prior to the merger Pfizer had over 50m sq ft and Wyeth had two thirds of that.

A spokeswoman for the drugs company said: “Pfizer conducts periodic assessments of its partners to ensure we have a best-in-class approach to the real estate brokerage and portfolio management efforts that support our business goals and objectives. The RFP is a continuation of that process.”

In the UK, the contract will include the high profile 325-acre pharmaceutical campus in Sandwich, Kent. CBRE was appointed last June to sell Pfizer’s Kent base, which was rebranded as Discovery Park.

However, a deal to sell the development to London & Metropolitan fell away in May, after the developer confirmed it was no longer in talks to buy it. The deal was said to be subject to securing a financing package.

The campus comprises more than 3m sq ft of property, which takes up less than half of the available space, meaning there is significant scope for further development. Property assets include research laboratories, drug manufacturing plants, support functions such as offices, incinerators and waste treatment facilities and high-bay warehouses.

Pfizer will retain 350 staff from an original workforce of 2,500 and occupy a 330,000 sq ft pilot plant and a 65,000 sq ft factory.

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