Merger Creates State's Third-Largest Residential Real Estate Brokerage

RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 18, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- Two of the most successful Coldwell Banker franchises in North Carolina have joined forces, creating the state's third-largest residential real estate brokerage company.

The merger of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty of Wilmington and Coldwell Banker Advantage of Raleigh and Fayetteville creates a regional powerhouse with a sales team of more than 600 agents and 26 sales offices in Raleigh, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Jacksonville and other Eastern North Carolina markets.

The merger was announced by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation CEO Jim Gillespie on Thursday, November 17th in separate news conferences in Raleigh and Wilmington.

"Today's merger creates the fifth largest Coldwell Banker affiliated company in North America and the number one Coldwell Banker affiliate in North Carolina," Gillespie said.

The merger brings together two companies that have dominated their respective markets. SeaCoast Realty is the number one brokerage in Wilmington, Brunswick County, Topsail and Jacksonville with over 23 percent of the market.

Advantage, meanwhile, ranks number four in Raleigh and number one in Fayetteville.

The new company will be led by co-CEOs Tim Milam of Sea Coast Realty and Gary Rabon of Advantage. In Wilmington, it will be called Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, while in Raleigh and Fayetteville it will continue under the Advantage name.

The two companies combined to generate $1.3 billion in sales volume from 6,500 real estate transactions in 2010, according to REAL Trends, a real estate industry trade magazine. Those totals ranked among the top 55 brokerages in the country in sales volume and among the top 75 in transactions, according to the magazine.

The two companies should surpass last year's total, with nearly $1.2 billion in sales and 6,000 transactions through October, according to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics.

"This is a true merger of equals," Milam said. "It is not an acquisition. All owners of both companies will remain owners with the new company. Neither company is buying the other. Instead we're joining forces to compete more effectively in today's challenging marketplace."

Rabon added: "This is a merger where both companies are strengthened. It creates a lot of synergies in terms of marketing, training and technology."

SOURCE Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage

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