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Purchase represents largest expansion of company-owned regions since franchise's founding

By Maria Patterson

RISMEDIA, March 1, 2007-RE/MAX of California & Hawaii, with 448 independently owned and operated offices, and over 10,000 affiliated agents, will be acquired by the franchise headquarters of Denver-based RE/MAX International. The purchase represents the largest single expansion of company-owned regions by RE/MAX International, since the franchise organization's founding in 1973.

"Right now in the United States, RE/MAX International operates 27,000 of the company's 90,000 U.S. agents," commented RE/MAX International Chairman and Co-founder Dave Liniger in an exclusive interview with RISMedia. "By buying back this region, we picked up over 10,000 agents in one day. We have overstaffed our headquarters knowing that our regional directors are reaching retirement age."

According to Liniger, the acquisition is a logical part of the company's overall strategy. "In the last nine or 10 years, RE/MAX Intl. has bought back 11 or 12 of our regions, which is not unusual for a parent company to do," he explained. "I was in my late 20s when I sold the RE/MAX regions around the U.S. and Canada to managers who were all 20 and 25 years older than me. Now, I find myself still in charge, and a lot of the regional owners are at the retirement stage. RE/MAX Intl. is their exit strategy."

Sid Syvertson and Steve Haselton, current owners of RE/MAX of California & Hawaii, have signed a binding purchasing agreement, and transfer of the region is expected to be concluded by mid-April.

RE/MAX of California & Hawaii has been the parent company's number-one performer for several years. Liniger attributes this to the regional company's outstanding management along with the sheer size of its territory.

"Sid and Steve bought the region from me in 1982," said Liniger. "They were already successful at the time with a company called Spring Realty. It was the biggest conversion we'd ever done in the history of the company. Twenty-five years later, we've never had an argument or a cross word. They have built an amazing network of offices and sales associates, and made innumerable contributions to our company-wide programs and educational tools. We could never adequately express our gratitude for their commitment and dedication over the years. Obviously, we are eager to continue their progressive work with all the RE/MAX members in the region."

"We feel confident that the leadership of RE/MAX International is fully committed to the continued enhancement of the system, the profitability of each broker/owner and continued benefits for all RE/MAX members," said Syvertson.

Adam Contos, who has served as regional director of the RE/MAX Mountain States region since September 2005 has been named the new regional director of RE/MAX of California & Hawaii. Contos has been associated with RE/MAX in a variety of positions since 2003, with previous experience in law enforcement and the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Rob Terranova, formerly assistant regional director of RE/MAX Southwest, has been named regional director of RE/MAX Mountain States, which includes Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota.

"The past 25 years have been an amazing ride," added Haselton. "We have made literally thousands of friends in the RE/MAX organization and have had some exhilarating successes along the way. It is truly a unique and wonderful organization and it has been thrilling to be a part of its success over the years. Now, we can watch it continue to grow under the new ownership at RE/MAX International."

According to Liniger, RE/MAX Intl. will continue to look at acquiring other regions as the need arises: "It's the exact same path that any franchise follows, whether it's McDonalds or Pizza Hut. This is a direction we'll continue to go in."

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