Stan Johnson Expands Retail Business With Acquisition of Atlanta Firm

Originally published by CoStar

Stan Johnson Company, a national brokerage firm that has been diversifying its business lines, has made its first acquisition to accelerate the growth of its multi-tenant retail investment sales across the country.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based firm said it acquired Shane Investment Property Group, a 20-year-old brokerage company based north of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stan Johnson Company "has been in the market for some time now building relationships and evaluating acquisition opportunities that are consistent with our growth plan," Jeff Cox, Managing Partner of the east region at Stan Johnson Company, said in an email. "Shane Investment Property Group was evaluating their future, and our mutual objectives and values happened to align nicely. Good deals happen that way."

Emery Shane, founder and CEO of Shane Investment, will join Stan Johnson Company as a senior director. Shane brings a team of five experienced brokers with him to the firm. Combined, the team of Jeff Enck, Doug Clyburn, Brian Lane, Kermit Hairston and Billy Benedict has more than 125 years of commercial real estate experience.

Shane Investment's headquarters in Alpharetta will become Stan Johnson Company's second Atlanta-area office. The firm, which also has an office at Tower Place 100 in the heart of the Buckhead financial district, operates 15 regional offices in addition to the Tulsa headquarters.

Stan Johnson Company, a firm known for its expertise in brokering the sales, acquisitions and capitalization of single-tenant, net-leased commercial properties, has launched a strategy to diversify its business. Multi-tenant "retail is a key growth area for us, but it’s not our only growth path," company president and CEO Stan Johnson said in a statement. "The addition of Shane provides outstanding momentum for additional M&A activity.”

One of the major moves Stan Johnson Company made as it grows its multi-tenant sales business was the hiring of Margaret Caldwell late last year.

Caldwell gained a national reputation as a top retail investment sales broker during her 12-year tenure at Jones Lang LaSalle. She said she looks forward to working with the team joining Stan Johnson Company from Shane Investment.

"Our teams will find lots of opportunities to partner on transactions together. An example is when we broker a property through a 'parcelization' approach, where we can create more liquidity and drive pricing for the client through selling a larger property in pieces such as a $50 million-plus shopping center," Caldwell said in an email. "This acquisition also drives investment opportunities for clients that are shifting their strategy from larger multi-tenant retail assets to shadow anchored strips."

Making its first acquisition during the coronavirus pandemic is not out of character for Stan Johnson Company, Cox said.

"We have a history of growing in down markets," Cox said in his email. "We launched our national expansion during the last downturn and now serve our clients from offices that span the country. It’s been an effective growth strategy for us."

Looking forward, Stan Johnson Company said it is seeking additional acquisitions as it grows its business and diversifies its service lines, said Josh Campbell, the firm's Managing Partner of initiatives who spearheaded the Shane Investment transaction.

"We see a big opportunity in the market to identify like-minded, entrepreneurial partners who want to lock arms with us in building something really special in the industry," Campbell said in an email. "That message resonates with business leaders across the middle market space, and we see tremendous upside in joining forces to continue to build a market-leading presence in our space."

Stan Johnson founded Stan Johnson Company in 1985, and it quickly became a pioneer in the single-tenant, net lease market segment.

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