Real estate giant Realogy has announced that it plans to acquire ZipRealty’s residential brokerage, with 23 offices across the country. The all-cash transaction, valued at about $166 million, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
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"The acquisition of ZipRealty represents a strategic investment in the growth of our business and a compelling opportunity to further enhance shareholder value," says Richard A. Smith, Realogy's chairman, chief executive officer, and president.
"This transaction has two uniquely attractive facets for Realogy. First, we are acquiring an established, highly productive, technology-based national residential brokerage operation. Second, we will capitalize on the innovative technology platform that ZipRealty has honed over more than a decade of development. ZipRealty's technology provides a seamless digital experience for consumers, brokers, and sales associates across the entire real estate transaction life cycle. We intend to fully leverage ZipRealty's comprehensive suite of world-class technology tools across our business, enabling both our franchise brands and our company-owned operations to be more productive [and] efficient and better serve their customers."
Realogy plans to add 17 of ZipRealty's residential real estate brokerage offices into its existing offices operated by NRT, Realogy’s real estate brokerage subsidiary and largest franchisee. Realogy intends to continue to operate the remaining six ZipRealty offices on a stand-alone basis, according to a news release announcing the acquisition.
ZipRealty’s board of directors unanimously approved the acquisition.
"Integrating ZipRealty's time-tested systems and product offerings with Realogy's brokerage and franchising operations that reach approximately 170,000 U.S.-based sales associates provides a significant opportunity for future growth and product innovation," says Lanny Baker, president and chief executive officer of ZipRealty.
"Our owned and operated sales associate base will become part of one of the most successful real estate brokerage firms in the nation and will benefit from Realogy's brand visibility and local presence.”
Baker will continue to serve in an executive leadership role within Realogy as chief executive officer of ZipRealty.
Realogy’s franchise brands include Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Sotheby’s International Realty, and more. It has about 247,000 brokers and affiliated sales associates in 13,600 offices worldwide. ZipRealty is a nationwide real estate brokerage, known for leveraging technology, with 1,800 sales associates among 23 offices. ZipRealty reported $2.7 billion in closed sales volume and $32 million in gross profit in 2013.
"ZipRealty's end-to-end and multi-device software platform and advanced product development capabilities will further accelerate our efforts to drive web- and mobile-based lead generation and client conversion,” says Smith.
"ZipRealty has invested in both the technical talent and the brokerage expertise necessary to build an impressive array of custom-designed technology and online marketing tools that generate incremental business for sales associates and brokers. These assets and capabilities will provide us with a powerful new slate of product offerings for our franchisees and company-owned operations.”