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SG More ERA acquisitions likely in region: Northstar

Property Here - Wednesday, August 07, 2013

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Private equity firm Northstar has revealed plans to acquire the regional franchise rights to real estate giant ERA Realty Network following its buyout of the Singapore franchise rights from Hersing Corporation.

Propertyguru reported on Monday that ERA Singapore franchise rights had been sold to Realty Partners Group Pte. Ltd., a recently-incorporated unit of Northstar, for between $100 million and Hersing's asking price of $150 million.

A joint Northstar-Hersing statement released today said Northstar was also in the process of acquiring the Asia Pacific Master Franchise of ERA, subject to the master franchisor's approval, which would cover 18 countries in the region.

Hersing, which introduced the ERA franchise to Singapore under Mr Harry Chua in 1982, currently holds the Asia Pacific Master Franchise.

The statement also revealed further information about the ERA Singapore sale, which is believed to include the Singapore franchise rights to dormant business Coldwell Banker.

Both companies are owned by US brokerage Realogy Holdings Corp.

ERA employs more than 5,000 agents in Singapore and last year transacted over 44,000 sales - a total property value of around S$22.3 billion.

The statement said Mr Jack Chua, who has been with Hersing for over 20 years, had spearheaded the group of senior ERA executives who had co-invested with Northstar in the management buyout of the ERA Singapore franchise.

Mr Jack Chua said Northstar shared ERA's vision to further consolidate its market-leading position.

"Together, we plan to introduce new training programmes and IT initiatives to further increase productivity and stay ahead of the curve," he said.

Hersing Chairman Mr Harry Chua said the sale would allow the company to focus on other business ventures, including the introduction of Hong Kong dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan to Singapore.

“I am happy that Jack will continue to lead ERA under Northstar’s ownership," Mr Harry Chua said. 

"He has played an important role in the growth of ERA over the years. With the sale, now I can focus my time and energy on Hersing’s other businesses." 

Mr Jack Chua and Mr Harry Chua are said to have worked closely together over the years to grow the ERA business.

Amy Kelly, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories