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Acquisition of Coldwell Is Complete

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

HFS Inc. said Friday that it has completed the acquisition of Coldwell Banker Corp. and has named a new chief executive of the Mission Viejo real estate company.

Veteran Coldwell Banker President and CEO Chandler B. Barton becomes chairman of the Board of Trustees, a move that limits his day-to-day role in the company. Barton, 62, joined the company in 1979 and has led Coldwell Banker since 1989.

John D. Snodgrass, president and chief operating officer of HFS, succeeds Barton as chief executive.

Coldwell Banker, which has about 2,200 offices and $700 million in annual revenue, will remain headquartered in Mission Viejo.

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The acquisition solidifies New Jersey-based HFS’ position as the nation’s largest real-estate franchiser. HFS, of Parsippany, owns Century 21 Real Estate Corp. and ERA Real Estate.

HFS, which changed its name from Hospitality Franchise Systems Inc. last September, also has 5,200 franchised hotels in the Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Park Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge and Villager Lodge chains.

HFS acquired Coldwell Banker from Fremont Group for about $640 million in cash and $100 million in assumed debt.

Fremont Group is the investment arm of Bechtel Group Inc., the closely held engineering and construction giant.

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The group bought Coldwell from Sears, Roebuck & Co. in October 1993.


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