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TheStreet Open House

RE/MAX Files for $100 Million IPO

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- RE/MAX, a top franchisor of real estate brokerage services, is putting up its own "for sale" sign, saying on Monday it has publicly filed a registration statement for a proposed initial public offering of $100 million in common stock.

RE/MAX's prospective IPO comes amid a strong post-IPO performance from competitor Realogy (RLGY), as stock investors seek ways to gain exposure to the recovering housing market. Online real estate companies Zillow (Z) and Trulia (TRLA) have also seen strong stock market performance since going public in recent years.

RE/MAX opened in 1973 from a single office in Denver, Colo, and has grown to represent more than 92,000 real-estate agents globally. The RE/MAX brand name has held the number one market share in the U.S. and Canada since 1999.

Realogy, the franchisor of of Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Sotheby's International agents is the world's largest player with about 241,700 sales associates as of 2012. In July, the Realogy's former private equity owner Apollo Global Management sold its remaining shares in a stock offering.

RE/MAX said in an S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission it intends to apply to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYX). The firm's $100 million share sale is a placeholder for now and it hasn't yet disclosed any details on the pricing of its shares.

The company reported unaudited revenue of $143.7 million in 2012, up from $138.3 million the year before. Including pro-forma earnings from the firm's recent acquisition of assets of RE/MAX of Texas, the company said it it would have earned $33.6 million during 2012.

RE/MAX is listing as an "emerging growth company," as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, allowing the firm to take advantage of exemptions from some financial reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies. The company said in its S-1 filing it has irrevocably elected to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards of the JOBS Act.

RE/MAX currently is majority owned by its co-founders Dave Liniger and Gail Liniger, who serve as Chairman and Vice Chair respectively. RE/MAX executives own minority interests in the firm's shares and its S-1 only lists Weston Presidio as a general partner.

Morgan Stanley (MS), BofA Merrill Lynch (BAC) and JPMorgan (JPM) will act as joint book-running managers for the offering. Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners is advising RE/MAX.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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