Re/Max brokerage files for IPO as U.S. housing shares rally

Bloomberg NewsAugust 20, 2013 

NEW YORK -- Re/Max Holdings, a franchiser of real estate brokerages, filed for a U.S. initial public offering as the nation's property market rebounds and shares of housing-services companies surge.

Re/Max, a Denver-based company that has more than 92,000 real estate agents globally, filed to raise as much as $100 million, according to a regulatory filing Monday. The amount is a placeholder that will probably change. The number of shares and price range haven't been determined, Re/Max said.

The U.S. housing market's recovery from the worst crash since the 1930s is bolstering shares of companies

that make money from home sales and searches. Realogy Holdings Corp., the Madison, N.J.-based owner of the Century 21 and Coldwell Banker brands, raised $1.08 billion in an October IPO. The shares have climbed about 60 percent since they started trading.

Shares of Zillow, operator of the largest real estate information website, have more than tripled this year. The company went public in July 2011. Trulia, the San Francisco-based residential-property listings website, went public in September at $17 a share and has gained about 170 percent in 2013.

Prices for single-family homes climbed in 87 percent of U.S. cities in the second quarter, the National Association of Realtors said this month. The median price nationally was $203,500 nationally, up 12 percent from a year earlier. That was the biggest gain since the fourth quarter of 2005, according to the Realtors group.

Homebuilder confidence surged in August to the highest level since November 2005. Housing starts rose in July, the Commerce Department said last week.

Re/Max, which reported revenue of $143.7 million for 2012, plans to list the shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RMAX. The company's 6,300 offices are owned by agents or franchisees, according to the filing.

Re/Max was founded in 1973 by Dave Liniger and Gail Liniger, who remain majority owners, and is backed by private- equity firm Weston Presidio.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are managing Re/Max's share sale, according to the filing.

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