HomeServices buys Chicago brokerage

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2013 - 9:06 PM

Terms were not disclosed in the acquisition of Prudential Rubloff Properties, which has 860 employees.

Twin Cities-based HomeServices of America Inc. has acquired Prudential Rubloff Properties, a leading brokerage in Chicago.

“It’s a place we’ve wanted to be,” Ron Peltier, HomeServices’ CEO, said Tuesday. “This is going to be a game-changer for this marketplace.”

HomeServices isn’t new to the Windy City. It acquired Koenig & Strey Real Living Real Estate in September 2009 and will combine the companies to create what is expected to be the No. 2 brokerage in the Chicago area. By next spring, the companies will become the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it includes subsidiaries Rubloff Insurance and Sterling Title Services. Peltier said the current leadership team will remain in place, with Nancy Nagy serving as chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group.

“Combining Prudential Rubloff with Koenig & Strey represents a new chapter in the history of our great companies,” said Nagy, currently president and CEO of Koenig & Strey Real Living.

Steve Murray, editor and partner at REAL Trends and Murray Consulting, called it a “very significant” deal for HomeServices because the combined companies will have near-dominance in the market. He also said the deal is important for HomeServices because it gains Prudential’s experienced management team.

“They are highly regarded leaders and operators,” Murray said.

Prudential Rubloff has more than 860 employees in the Chicago area, and a branch office in New Buffalo, Mich., that serves northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. Last year, the company had nearly $2.2 billion in sales volume. Koenig & Strey Real Living has more than 730 agents and staff, and 2012 sales of nearly $2 billion.

Minneapolis-based HomeServices is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, which has helped fund Peltier’s acquisition of several brokerages this year. His strategy is to acquire firms with deep ties to their communities and strong brand recognition in new and existing markets.

In August, Peltier added Philadelphia-based Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, the nation’s fifth-largest stand-alone brokerage, to its portfolio. And in March, HomeServices bought Prudential Georgia Realty, the largest real estate brokerage in Atlanta.

Including the most recent Chicago acquisition, HomeServices of America will have nearly 22,000 agents and staff in 25 states and more than $55 billion in sales.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

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