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Berkshire Adds Broker as Buffett Bets on Housing Rebound

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Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- HomeServices of America Inc., the real-estate brokerage owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., acquired Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors to expand in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

The acquired company, based in Philadelphia, has more than 4,000 sales associates in 62 offices, according to a statement today from the Berkshire unit that didn’t disclose terms.

Buffett has positioned Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire to benefit from a housing rebound by investing in a brickmaker and building the largest stake in Wells Fargo & Co., the top U.S. mortgage originator. HomeServices, the second-largest residential broker in the U.S., is extending its reach after making acquisitions in the past two years to grow in states including Missouri, Oregon and Washington.

“This is an important transaction to HomeServices,” Ron Peltier, chief executive officer of the unit, said in the statement. Prudential Fox and its Trident Group are “trusted resources within the communities in which they serve and to their buyers and sellers.”

Trident includes a mortgage company and insurance business, according to the statement. With the latest acquisition, HomeServices operates in 24 states under about 30 brands.

Realogy Holdings Corp.’s NRT LLC is the largest U.S. residential brokerage operator, with more than 700 company-owned offices under brands including Coldwell Banker and ERA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan Hickey in New York at Mhickey18@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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