The DBJ reported that the offering puts control of RE/MAX in the hands of a select few companies, which will own all of the Class B shares. Owners of Class B stock get two votes per share, compared to a single vote for Class A stockholders. The breakdown of the percentage ownership in the Class B shares hasn’t been filled in yet, but the voting power that comes from that class of stock will rest with RIHI Inc. and Weston Presidio V LP. RIHI is majority owned by Dave Liniger, the chairman and co-founder of RE/MAX, and his wife, Gail Liniger, the company’s co-founder. Margaret Kelly, CEO, owns a majority stake in RIHI, as does president Vincent Tracey and director Daryl Jesperson.
John Featherston, CEO and publisher of RISMedia, said the franchise first established in Denver 40 years ago by Dave and Gail Liniger is expected to create a lot of interest in the public markets.
“Residential real estate and homeownership are once again a hot sector of the U.S. economy,” Featherston said. “RE/MAX is following on the heels of the public offering success of several companies, including real estate portals Zillow and Trulia, whose combined valuation exceeds $4.4 billion, and rival Realogy, which has a valuation of $6.3 billion following its successful IPO last year.”
Featherston continued, “With RE/MAX now seeking to go public, the real estate brand landscape continues to change. With competitors such as Realogy’s public ownership of Better Homes and Gardens, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and Sotheby’s—along with other brands controlled by public companies such as Berkshire Hathaway’s recent acquisition of Prudential Real Estate—the industry’s largest real estate brands are all becoming publicly controlled entities, with some exceptions including Realty Executives and Keller Williams.