New Entity, Guaranteed Rate Affinity, Expected to Launch Beginning in June 2017; Realogy, PHH Mortgage Mutually Agree to Exit Existing PHH Home Loans Joint Venture Relationship
February 15, 2017 // Franchising.com // Madison, N.J. - Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), the largest full-service residential real estate services company in the United States, and Guaranteed Rate, Inc. (“Guaranteed Rate”), one of the largest independent retail mortgage companies in the United States, today announced that they have agreed to form a new joint venture, Guaranteed Rate Affinity LLC, which is expected to begin doing business in June 2017. Commencement of operations is subject to the closing of an asset purchase agreement under which Guaranteed Rate Affinity will acquire certain assets of the mortgage operations of PHH Home Loans LLC, the existing joint venture between Realogy and PHH Mortgage, including its four regional mortgage origination and processing centers, its relocation division and employees across the United States.
Guaranteed Rate Affinity will originate and market its mortgage lending services to Realogy’s real estate brokerage and relocation subsidiaries, respectively NRT and Cartus, as well as to other real estate brokerage and relocation companies across the country. Guaranteed Rate Affinity also will market its mortgage lending services to a broad consumer audience while leveraging its end-to-end online platform to drive growth in those markets. Guaranteed Rate will own a controlling 50.1% stake of Guaranteed Rate Affinity and Realogy will own 49.9%.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to accelerate our growth on a national level by bringing our cutting edge technology together with Realogy, a Fortune 500 company,” said Guaranteed Rate Chief Executive Officer and Founder Victor Ciardelli. “This new partnership aligns deeply with our core values, especially our commitment to ‘Work with the Best of the Best.’ We appreciate the hard work and commitment of the current joint venture employees during this transition period and we look forward to having them become part of the Guaranteed Rate Affinity team.”
“As we evaluated potential new options for our mortgage origination venture, Guaranteed Rate was clearly the right strategic partner to help our company-owned brokerage business and its affiliated sales associates offer an innovative and streamlined mortgage process built on best-in-class technology,” said Richard A. Smith, Realogy’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Mortgage financing is a service we have provided for more than 20 years. We are delighted to partner with Guaranteed Rate and are excited to embark on this new relationship that will substantially enhance our service offerings to our customers.”
“This joint venture is a positive development that helps to elevate NRT’s overall agent value proposition,” said Bruce Zipf, Chief Executive Officer and President of NRT, the Realogy subsidiary that owns and operates residential brokerage companies with approximately 800 offices and 47,500 independent sales associates across the United States. “Guaranteed Rate has built one of the market’s most trusted brands through seamless technology and outstanding customer service. We look forward to working with them and allowing our independent sales associates to offer their clients access to an innovative online experience.”
The asset purchase agreement is subject to approval by PHH Corporation shareholders and certain other closing conditions and is expected to be completed in a series of asset sale closings. The initial closing is expected to occur in June 2017, and the final closing is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is a global leader in residential real estate franchising and brokerage with many of the best-known industry brands including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, Sotheby's International Realty® and ZipRealty®. Collectively, Realogy's franchise system members operate approximately 13,650 offices with more than 268,000 independent sales associates conducting business in 111 countries and territories around the world. NRT LLC, Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage, is the largest residential brokerage company in the United States, operates under several of Realogy’s brands and also provides related residential real estate services. Realogy also owns Cartus, a prominent worldwide provider of relocation services to corporate and affinity clients, Title Resource Group (TRG), a leading provider of title, settlement and underwriting services and ZapLabsSM, its innovation and technology development subsidiary. Realogy is headquartered in Madison, New Jersey.
Guaranteed Rate is the eighth largest retail mortgage lender in the United States. Headquartered in Chicago, the company has approximately 195 offices across the U.S. and Washington, D.C., and is licensed in all 50 states. Since its founding in 2000, Guaranteed Rate has helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners with home purchase loans and refinances and funded nearly $23 billion in loans in 2016 alone. The company has become the Home Purchase Experts® by introducing the world's first Digital Mortgage technology and offering low rate, low fee mortgages through an easy-to-understand process and unparalleled customer service. Guaranteed Rate won an American Business Award for its Digital Mortgage technology in 2016, ranked No. 1 in Scotsman Guide's Top Mortgage Lenders 2015, was chosen Top Lender 2016 by Chicago Agent magazine and made the Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces list five of the past six years. Visit rate.com for more information.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to Realogy’s mortgage origination joint venture agreement with Guaranteed Rate and our expectation that we will close the related transactions with Guaranteed Rate and PHH Mortgage in multiple stages between June 2017 and fourth quarter 2017. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in Realogy’s filings with the SEC, including that there can be no assurance that the asset purchase agreement will be consummated or that Guaranteed Rate Affinity will commence operations in a timely manner or at all. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, Realogy expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them to reflect actual results, any changes in expectations or any change in events. For additional information concerning risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, and risks to our business in general, please refer to Realogy Holdings Corp.'s SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2016.
SOURCE Realogy Holdings Corp.