LaSalle Partners, a real-estate services firm listed in New York, is in talks with international property consultant Jones Lang Wootton (JLW) on a possible merger. The companies yesterday announced they were in preliminary discussions, but no details were revealed. LaSalle, founded in 1968 and based in Chicago, has more than 1,400 staff and operates 10 US corporate offices and eight international offices. LaSalle and JLW yesterday said there could be no assurances that any 'definitive agreement will be reached or that a transaction will be completed'. Any agreement would be subject to the completion of due diligence as well as a number of approvals, including that of the two companies' shareholders. The announcement also said preliminary talks had started with Lend Lease Corp. These related to LaSalle's acquisition of its Atlanta-based real estate management services subsidiary, Compass Management and Leasing as well as Lend Lease's US retail property management business. Those businesses would be integrated into the merged JLW and LaSalle management services business. The possible merger comes months after another real estate consultants Richard Ellis International tied up with CB Commercial, one of the largest real-estate players in North America. The new company, CB Richard Ellis, is making efforts to establish a global presence through the possible acquisition of Hillier Parker of Britain.