Property giant CB Richard Ellis Group yesterday snapped up Birmingham rival Grenville Smith & Duncan for a figure thought to be in the region of £9 million.

The deal makes CBRE the third largest property consultancy in Birmingham after DTZ and GVA Grimley.

Founded in Birmingham in 1991, GSD, which also has an office in Leeds, has a track record in office investment, agency leasing, commercial property management and building consultancy.

It is widely regarded as the city's leading independent commercial property advisory firm.

Clients include developers Abstract Land, Carlye Group, Nurton Developments and Frontier Estates.

GSD has 40 staff spread across its two offices. Twenty five GSD staff will join CB Richard Ellis' team of 88 at Cornwall House, Cornwall Street, Birmingham, before the end of January, vacating their premises at Waterloo House in Waterloo Street.

Julian Shellard, Birmingham-based chairman of regional business at CB Richard Ellis, said: "CB Richard Ellis is the world's largest commercial real estate services firm, and Britain's biggest.

"Based on our regional turnover alone, the firm would still be a top 20 UK performer, which includes London practices. Our business is rooted in the regions and the acquisition of GSD boosts our capabilities even further.

"For Birmingham, the acquisition will be a particular fillip to our investment, building consultancy, asset management and agency disciplines."

Adrian McStay, chairman of GSD, said: "After considering a number of alternative directions for our business, we saw a future with CB Richard Ellis as clearly the best pathway for GSD because of its global platform, leading market position in the UK and the compatibility between our firms in terms of excellence in client service and staff opportunities.

"We're extremely excited about what lies ahead."

The former GSD operation will now adopt the CB Richard Ellis brand.

Mr McStay will remain with the combined company as chairman of commercial markets for the Midlands and North regions of the UK.

Mike Strong, president of CB Richard Ellis, Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA), said: "The acquisition of GSD marks another strategic step in the expansion of CB Richard Ellis' full-service capability in major business centres across Europe, and continues our strategy of developing the strongest service offering throughout the EMEA region."

Martin Samworth, UK managing director, CB Richard Ellis, said: "This is an ideal pairing of two like-minded and culturally similar firms that, together, will raise the service standard across the central and northern UK. We see significant business opportunities in these regions, and look forward to working with our new colleagues at GSD."

Worldwide CBRE employs 24,000.