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RISMEDIA, March 11, 2009-The downturn in the real estate market provided opportunities for 96 Coldwell Banker® affiliated companies in the United States and Canada that increased their size and scope in 2008 through mergers and acquisitions.

The Coldwell Banker system added 22 new companies in the U.S. and Canada including Coldwell Banker Integrity (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Coldwell Banker Select Professionals (Lancaster, Penn.) and Coldwell Banker Castle Pines (Castle Rock, Colo.)

Coldwell Banker branded international franchisees also opened offices in Vietnam and St. Kitts.

“I remain bullish on housing and the success of the Coldwell Banker brand,” said Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Yes, market and economic conditions have reduced the number of homes sold and home prices nationally, but our continued work to renew our affiliated companies, help them grow in size, scope and profitability and at the same time continuously add new affiliates speaks extremely well for what our great brand stands for.”

Gillespie pointed out that the merger/acquisition activity was 71% higher than in 2007 and was highlighted by activity at: Coldwell Banker United (Bryan, Texas); Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood (Lansing, Mich.); and Coldwell Banker Select (Tulsa, Okla.).

“We continually stressed to Coldwell Banker affiliated companies that merger/acquisitions in this market represent a great opportunity to increase market presence,” Gillespie said. “In many cases our corporate staff helped by conducting seminars and one-on-one consultations to assist in the negotiations that took place, but the credit goes to the broker/owners who aggressively sought to make deals and then integrate the newly joined sales associates and management teams.”

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