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Realogy Agrees to Buy ZipRealty for About $166 Million

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July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Realogy Holdings Corp., owner of brokerage brands Coldwell Banker and Century 21, agreed to buy ZipRealty Inc. for about $166 million.

Realogy, based in Madison, New Jersey, said it will pay $6.75 a share in cash for ZipRealty, 123 percent more than today’s closing price. Emeryville, California-based ZipRealty operates 23 residential brokerages in the U.S. and an Internet-based marketing platform, Realogy said in a statement.

The transaction gives Realogy tools to improve customer service through ZipRealty’s online property-data research, Richard A. Smith, Realogy’s chairman, chief executive officer and president, said in the statement.

ZipRealty’s technology platform, honed over more than a decade of development, “provides a seamless digital experience for consumers, brokers and sales associates across the entire real estate transaction life cycle,” Smith said.

Realogy said it expects to complete the purchase in the third quarter. ZipRealty’s board unanimously approved the buyout and will recommend the transaction to its shareholders, according to Realogy’s statement.

Realogy has about 247,000 brokers and sales associates in 13,600 offices worldwide. Its shares rose 0.4 percent to $37.29 today, and have climbed 38 percent since the company’s initial public offering in October 2012.

ZipRealty fell 2.9 percent today to close at $3.02. The shares have fallen 5 percent in the past 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Lamantia in New York at jlamantia1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net Christine Maurus, Daniel Taub

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