Re/Max Holdings Inc. (RMAX:US), a franchiser of real estate brokerages, filed to raise as much as $241.5 million in a U.S. initial public offering as the property market recovery bolsters shares of housing-services companies.
Re/Max, based in Denver, plans to sell 10 million shares for $19 to $21 each, according to a regulatory filing today. The total amount, which includes overallotment options, was increased from an initial target of as much as $100 million.
Companies that make money from home sales and searches are benefiting as housing rebounds from the worst crash since the Great Depression. Shares of Realogy Holdings Corp. (RLGY:US), owner of the Century 21 and Coldwell Banker brands, and listings sites Zillow Inc. and Trulia Inc. (TRLA:US) have surged since their IPOs. The Federal Reserve’s unexpected decision yesterday to extend its support for the mortgage market may add to investor demand.
“It does seem like good timing for Re/Max,” Anthony Sanders, professor of real estate finance at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, said in a telephone interview. “Why not jump on bandwagon and do an IPO if the Fed is going to continue on its quantitative easing mission? Why not benefit from that?”
Realogy, based in Madison, New Jersey, climbed about 70 percent since it raised $1.08 billion in an IPO last October. Zillow, Seattle-based operator of the largest real estate information website, has more than tripled this year after going public in July 2011. San Francisco-based Trulia, which went public last September, has gained more than 200 percent in 2013.
Homebuilder shares jumped the most in two months yesterday after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly said it plans to continue $85 billion of monthly bond purchases to keep interest rates low. The 11-member Standard & Poor’s Supercomposite Homebuilding Index gained 6 percent at the close, the biggest increase since July 11.
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. The company has more than 90,000 agents worldwide and its 6,300 offices are owned by agents or franchisees, according to today’s filing.
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.
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